Saturday, July 22, 2006

Prosecutors fight 'gay panic' defenses

CNN reports:
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Prosecutors said Thursday they want to limit the use of "gay panic" defenses -- where defendants claim their crimes were justified because of fear or anger over their victims' sexual orientation.

"The suggestion that criminal conduct is mitigated by bias or prejudice is inappropriate," said San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who organized a two-day national conference on the issue. "We can't outlaw it, but we can combat it."

Lawmakers in California and New York are considering bills to deter the common courtroom strategy of making a victim's sexual orientation central to a criminal defense.

Both measures would require judges to remind jurors that bias toward the victim cannot influence their deliberations.

California's bill also would instruct juries that gay panic defenses are inconsistent with state laws protecting gays, lesbians and transgenders from discrimination.

It was prompted by the murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo, a transgender teenager who was beaten and strangled in 2002 after two men with whom she'd had anal sex learned she was biologically male.
Lemme get this straight. A boy pretends to be a girl, and tricks and seduces men into having anal sex with him. Two men get upset, kill the boy, and get convicted of murder. The gay lobby is upset that anyone might even consider the trickery to be a mitigating circumstance in a case like this, so it tries to pass law saying that the argument is inconsistent with state nondiscrimination laws.

I guess that they are saying that if a man seduces someone, then he should be equally open to seducing a boy or a girl. If a man prefers a girl, then that is just bigotry and discriminatory behavior. If he gets tricked, then that is just exposing his own bias and prejudice, so he shouldn't be able to complain about it.

This is wacky. Perverted trickery does not justify murder, and the jury agreed to that. But it is really sick to try to tell juries that arguing against such perverted trickery is inconsistent with state nondiscrimination laws.

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