Help ban 'gay panic' defenses

Earlier this week, a bill was reintroduced in both the House and the Senate by Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Sen. Ed Markey, respectively, that would ban the use of so-called 'gay panic' or 'trans panic' defenses in cases of murder, assault, or other violent crimes.

According to a press release from Rep. Kennedy, these defenses "seek to excuse crimes such as murder and assault by arguing that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity provoked the defendant’s violent reaction, blaming victims for the violence committed against them." As an article from The Advocate notes, "defendants may claim they acted violently because a gay person made a sexual overture or because they discovered someone was transgender."

Today's Action: Ask our Members of Congress to Cosponsor this Legislation

Reasons why we think that our MoCs should cosponsor this legislation:

We think it's important to always include a reason why you think a particular action is important. Here are a couple you can cite in your call.

  • Claiming a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity justify murder or assault tells entire segments of our society that their lives are not worthy of protection

  • As long as gay and trans panic defenses are allowed in our state and federal courts, the LGBTQ community will be deprived of the justice all Americans deserve.

  • Your own personal reason—these are always the best because they come from the heart.

Call your Representative

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal--DC 202-225-3106; Seattle 206-674-0040

  • Rep. Adam Smith--DC 202-225-8901; Renton 425-793-5180

Sample Script:

"Hi, my name is {NAME}, and I'm calling from {CITY, ZIP}. Please ask {REPRESENTATIVE} to cosponsor H.R.3133, Congressman Kennedy's bill to prohibit gay and trans panic defenses. I think this is important because of {REASON}."

Call your Senator

  • Sen. Patty Murray--DC 202-224-2621; Seattle 206-553-5545

  • Sen. Maria Cantwell--DC 202-224-3441; Seattle 206-220-6400

Sample Script:

"Hi, my name is {NAME}, and I'm calling from {CITY, ZIP}. Please ask {SENATOR} to cosponsor S.1721, Senator Markey's bill to prohibit gay and trans panic defenses. I think this is important because of {REASON}."

Background

Events

5th Annual UndocuGraduation: Class of 2019!

Sunday, June 9, 3:00 PM

Centilia Cultural Center - 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, Washington 98144

From Washington Dream Coalition WDC: "It’s time to celebrate our 2019 Undocu Graduates! We’ll be hosting the 5th annual Undocu Graduation on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at Centilia Cultural Center (1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144)!

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/712067435862750/