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California Gov. Signs Bill Outlawing ‘Gay Panic’ Defense That 24 Republicans Voted Against

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Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that bans the use of the so-called “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense. 

In the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, attorneys for the killers tried to invoke the “gay panic” defense. The Wyoming judge rightly did not allow it. But just a few years earlier, in a highly-publicized case, attorneys for Jonathan Schmitz used the “gay panic” defense after he murdered his friend Scott Amedure during “The Jenny Jones Show.” 

“Such defenses have been used before, sometimes successfully,” Salon notes. “In the murder of gay high school student Lawrence King, defendant Brandon McInerny — who was found guilty of shooting his classmate in the back of the head twice. But he wasn’t found guilty of murder — just of voluntary manslaughter.”

This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation outlawing the defense so ugly it has no right being used. Now, no one will be able to claim that a person’s sexual orientation, perceived or otherwise, or gender expression can be used as a defense in their murder or manslaughter.

AB-2501, the first of its kind in the nation, bans the use of what is commonly referred to as the “gay panic,” or “trans panic” defense.

In August, the bill passed the Senate 25-9, and the Assembly 58-15. No Democrat voted against it, yet a total of 24 lawmakers in the California Senate and Assembly saw fit to say “gay panic” and “trans panic” are acceptable defenses in murder or manslaughter cases.

Now they will face the full charges for their crime, just as if they had killed a heterosexual person,” Jim Reeves at the Visalia Times-Delta reports. “No more ‘momentary insanity’ claims because someone of the same gender (or transgender) made a pass (or you thought they made a pass) at you.”

The bill in part reads:

This bill would state that for purposes of determining sudden quarrel or heat of passion, the provocation was not objectively reasonable if it resulted from the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted nonforcible romantic or sexual advance towards the defendant, or if the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic or sexual relationship. By changing the definition of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

You can see how lawmakers voted at the California Legislature’s website, and contact Democratic lawmakers or Republican lawmakers to let them know your thoughts.

 

Image via Flickr


Related At The New Civil Rights Movement:

Taking Real Steps To Protect Transgender Kids: A Bridge Too Far For The LGB Community?

Governor Brown Signs FAIR Act, Teaching Gay History Now California Law

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report

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A political commentator and television host on Russian state TV appears to have suggested Russia installed Donald Trump as president in 2016, attempted to do so in 2020, and has yet to decide whether or not to do so again.

Russia “will have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven’t decided yet,” declared Olga Skabeyeva, known as the “Iron Doll of Putin TV” due to her criticism of the Russian president’s opponents.

The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis, who is the creator of the Russian Media Monitor, posted the video to Twitter, as Mediaite reported.

RELATED: Five Years Ago Trump Secretly Celebrated Firing FBI Director, Gave Russians Classified Intel Inside the Oval Office

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation,” Skabeyeva says, according to subtitles in the video Davis posted. “To destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it.” Skabeyeva suggested Trump might lose Putin’s support as a result.

Citing her “recent remarks about the onset of ‘World War III,'” that “raised eyebrows across the world,” Insider in April called Skabeyeva “one of Russian state media’s most prominent propagandists.”

A 158-page bipartisan and unanimous report published by the Republican majority Senate Intelligence Committee in 2020 revealed that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Endorsed Pro-Gun GOP Nominee Apologizes After Urging People to ‘Move On’ Hours After July 4 Mass Shooting

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The far-right pro-gun Republican nominee for governor of Illinois has apologized “if” his remarks, telling people to “move on” from the Highland Park Independence Day massacre that left six people dead and dozens wounded, “diminished the pain being felt across our state.”

Darren Bailey, a GOP state lawmaker who won his party’s nomination and is endorsed by Donald Trump, turned the horrific July 4 shooting into a campaign event.

Surrounded by supporters holding signs featuring his logo and others that said, “Fire Pritzker” – the current governor and his Democratic opponent – Bailey posted a Facebook live video saying, “we’re just going to take a moment and pray for the families [inaudible] pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade.”

“The shooter is still at large so let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation. We know the mission,” he said. “We have got to get corruption and evil out of our government.”

Insider adds that in Bailey’s video he also linked the Highland Park mass shooting to the “tough weekend in Chicago.” Highland Park is about 30 miles from Chicago. Fox News and right-wing media often focus on gun violence in that city, despite the fact that less than half the illegal guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Illinois.

“My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” Bailey said in a statement, Insider reports. “I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today.”

In April Bailey held a fundraiser to “win one of these great guns” and “help fuel our movement to reform Springfield and restore Illinois.”

In December Bailey, who has called “guns and hunting” a “family tradition,” tweeted out an article in which he is quoted saying, “I will die on my porch before I give up my guns.”

 

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News

‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation

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Newly revealed video footage shows how close British filmmaker Alex Holder got to the Trump family in the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection.

The family allowed Holder to gain exclusive access to them and the former president’s inner circle in the period between the 2020 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Politico obtained a new trailer for the upcoming documentary “Unprecedented,” which will stream on the Discovery+ network.

“Ivanka frets about a line on her dress, and jokes about covering it with a pet roaming about. ‘Can I borrow your dog?’ she asks her makeup artist,” Politico reported. “Jared nervously repositions his tie and asks, ‘Is that okay?’ Don Jr., seen at a rally, screams, ‘We will make liberals cry again!’ Eric is caught on a phone call, mysteriously saying, ‘For the sake of this country, we’re going to get these guys.'”

Those mundane moments build up to Jan. 6, and the film shows Donald Trump encouraging his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, and Holder’s photographer joins the throng.

READ MORE: Robert Crimo III’s family noticed nothing amiss, but social media posts painted a darker picture

“We’ve got to get the roaches out, all of them,” a Trump supporter yells to the photographer.

The documentary crew also recorded scenes from the ensuing attack, and Holder has turned over the raw footage to the House select committee investigating the riot.

“Gaining power is easy,” the narrator says in the trailer. “Surrendering it is not.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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