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NZ Lawyers Take On “Gay Panic”

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New Zealand’s legal system may be getting a gay-friendly overhaul. The nation’s Law Commission hopes to repeal the sixties-era gay panic defense, which allows people to say gay sexual advances drove them to violence. Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer told his peers:

Section 169 of the Crimes Act 1961 must be repealed. ‘Gay Panic Defense’ is a shorthand label, not an accurate legal description. But as the Law Commission recognizes, it is one of the main ways that the provocation defence operates. Of the four known cases in the past five years when the provocation defense has been pleaded successfully, two have involved the ‘Gay Panic Defense’.

We do not believe that such circumstances offer a valid excuse for murder… More broadly, and more importantly, intentional killing in anger in any circumstances is inexcusable.

Ain’t that the truth.

Palmer’s now asking the Minister of Justice to end this unjust legal loop hole. Cross your pretty little fingers!

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Oct 26, 2007
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 3 Comments
    • Rt. Rev. Dr. RES
      Rt. Rev. Dr. RES

      The gay panic defence…..fear of being scratched and disfigured while attempting and succeeding at murder of a gay person.

      Oct 26, 2007 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ces
      Ces

      Would make my life easier as a NZ law student if they would remove it! Reading the section, nowhere does it mention homosexuals, so I assume its a ‘judical gloss’on the words ‘anything said or done’. NZ only banned homosexuality 21 years ago, and the whole Crimes Act is overdue for an update- has been essentially the same since the 1890′s. So this is a good thing.

      Oct 27, 2007 at 5:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Margo
      Margo

      Kia ora Ces – I think you mean, 21 years ago NZ passed the first legislation in the country to protect the rights of homosexuals. As opposed to banning them.

      Oct 28, 2007 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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