Colorado on Monday became the 11th
state in the United States to ban the use of the LGBT “panic
defense” in criminal cases.
Democratic Governor Jared Polis, the
nation's first openly gay man to be elected governor, signed the new
law at the LGBTQ Center in Denver, The
Denver Post reported.
Surrounded by the bill's authors and
LGBT rights advocates, Polis said that passage of the bill proved
that Colorado had turned a corner since “our days as the 'hate
state,' referring to Amendment 2, the 1992 ballot measure which
prohibited lawmakers from enacting LGBT rights and sparked boycotts
of the state. Four years later, the Supreme Court in Romer
struck down Amendment 2 as unconstitutional.
“We've come a long way here in
Colorado since our days as the 'hate state,'” Polis said. “We
really went from a place where discrimination was legalized in the
1990s to where we are today, where Colorado is a leader [on LGBT
States with similar laws include
Washington, New Jersey, New York, California, Hawaii, Connecticut,
Maine, Illinois, Nevada, and Rhode Island.
Polis also signed bills that simplify
changing a minor's gender on their birth certificate and allow
pharmacists to prescribe HIV prevention therapies such as Truvada and
Descovy and require insurance companies to cover the medications.
Democratic Representative Brianna
Titone, a co-sponsor of the bill and Colorado's first transgender
state lawmaker, said that the bill is about protecting vulnerable
“For me, what this bill really means
is protecting black trans women, who are the most vulnerable of the
communities we're trying to protect here,” Titone said at the bill