BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Sunday Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning the gay and trans panic defense.
Cuomo signed the legislation on WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
The gay and trans panic defense is essentially a codification of homophobia and transphobia, and it is repugnant to our values of equality and inclusion. This defense strategy isn't just offensive - it also sends a dangerous message that violence toward LGBTQ people is somehow OK. It's not, and today we're sending this noxious legal tool to the dustbin of history where it belongs.
The gay and trans panic defense allowed those accused of crimes against LGBTQ+ people to place blame on the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity, allowing for lesser sentences and sometimes no convictions.
Cuomo's signature on the bill today closes that loophole.