Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, a
Democrat, on Friday signed legislation banning use of the “gay or
trans” panic defense in criminal cases.
Criminal defendants who use the
controversial defense claim that a violent act was triggered by the
revelation of a victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation or
Lamont said that the claim suggests the
lives of LGBT people are valued less than others.
“Claiming that meeting or interacting
with someone who is gay or transgender elicited some type of
temporary insanity that is supposed to justify a violent crime is
ludicrous, and quite frankly it is absurd that this tactic has ever
been successfully utilized in the court system,” Lamont said. “The
strategy also implies that the life of a gay or transgender person is
valued less than others. We will not allow homophobia and transphobia
to be legitimate reasons that justify violent crime.”
States with similar laws include
California, Illinois, Nevada and neighboring Rhode Island, which
banned the defense last year.
New York lawmakers have approved a
similar bill and Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is expected to
sign it into law.