• Nevada has banned the so-called gay and trans 'panic defence'. (iStockphoto)
‘Every victim of violent crime and their families deserve equal justice, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.’
Samuel Leighton-Dore

20 May 2019 - 2:34 PM  UPDATED 20 May 2019 - 2:35 PM

Nevada has become the fourth US State to ban the so-called gay and transgender 'panic defence', following the lead of California, Illinois and Rhode Island.

The bill, which bans defendants claiming they acted in a state of 'violent temporary insanity' because of unwanted same-sex/trans sexual advances, was introduced last month and written into law last week, with Governor Sisolak tweeting: "I was proud to recently sign this bill to ban the discriminatory & bigoted gay/trans 'panic' defence tactic."

He added: "Amid a disturbing rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community around the world, Nevada is reaffirming our commitment to justice and equality for all individuals."

Briana Escamilla, the Nevada state director for the Human Rights Campaign, stated that it was "long past time" for the law to change.

"These 'defences' send the destructive message that LGBTIQ+ victims are less worthy of justice and their attackers justified in their violence," he told NBC News.

"Every victim of violent crime and their families deserve equal justice, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Referred to as Senate Bill 97, the bill was first proposed by the Nevada Youth Legislature, which provides local high school students the chance to develop and propose legislation.

A law banning similar 'gay panic' defence was only introduced in Queensland back in 2017.

Most Australian states have banned the 'gay panic' defence, with South Australia announcing a move to remove the provocation defence earlier this year. 

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