DC Considers Banning ‘Gay Panic’ Defense

September 20, 2019, 1:44 PM UTC
Phil Mendelson
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: From left, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and veteran Kerwin E. Miller, attend the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing titled H.R. 51: Making D.C. the 51st State, in Rayburn Building on Thursday, September 19, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Washington, D.C., Council is considering legislation that would bar people charged with violent offenses from claiming they acted in self-defense after learning the victim was gay or transgender.

WTOP-FM reports Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced the “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2019” this week, saying it’s unacceptable for “bigots to claim panic as a defense.”

The bill would prohibit defendants from claiming they acted in the “heat of passion” or suffered reduced mental capacity upon learning about a person’s actual or perceived sexuality or gender identity.

Mendelson was involved in helping the District legalize same-sex marriage.

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