Virginia bans gay and trans "panic" defense in murder and manslaughter cases

Virginia has become the first southern state (and the first state in 2021) to ban the gay and trans panic defense in cases involving the assault and/or murder of LGBTQ+ people. In the past, this defense was used to barter for lesser charges and reduced sentences.

The legal defense has allowed individuals accused of murder or manslaughter to argue that the victim's gender identity or sexual orientation was what provoked them to commit the crime. The legislation was introduced by Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem, who in 2017 became the first transgender lawmaker elected to a state legislature.

Democracy Now