New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, on Tuesday signed a bill into law that prohibits use of the “gay or trans” panic defense in criminal cases.

New Jersey is the ninth state with such a law.

“We will always stand with our LGBTQ+ community and promote full equality for all our residents,” Murphy said in a statement. “Gay and trans panic defenses are rooted in homophobia and abhorrent excuses that should never be used to justify violence against vulnerable populations. With this new law, we are enacting critical measures to protect our friends and neighbors in the LGBTQ+ community.”

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 gender identity.

States with similar laws include New York, California, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, Illinois, Nevada, and Rhode Island.

In an email to supporters, Garden State Equality, New Jersey's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded Murphy's move.

“Up until today, murderers had a legal strategy in their pocket allowing them to put the blame on an LGBTQ person for their violent, deadly crime,” the group said. “But no more. Not in the Garden State.”