"Gay Panic" Laws Let Hateful People Murder LGBTQ+ Folks and Get Away With It

It's hard to believe, but in the U.S. state of Kentucky, murder is currently excusable under the law - so long as the violent perpetrator claims they suffered from supposed "gay panic" while being around an LGBTQ+ person.

The state is one of many in the U.S. that still has "gay panic defense" laws on the books. These laws literally allow hate-filled individuals to get away with murder - provided the murder is specifically a homophobic hate crime.

There is no excuse for any state to excuse or condone murder of LGBTQ+ persons. This is chilling and grotesque. Demand the Kentucky state legislature repeal this horrifying law now!

"Gay panic defense" laws have been shockingly common. Only within the past 10 years have 17 states and the city of Washington, D.C. finally banned this defense strategy. Meanwhile, 33 other states still allow its use.

And these laws aren't just sitting idly by. No, perpetrators have actively - and successfully - used them to gain acquittals in murder trials in approximately half of all U.S. states. 

As recently as 2003 in Kentucky, a man named Joshua Cottrell lured a gay man named Guin "Richie" Phillips into a hotel room, where Cottrell sadistically murdered Phillips before shoving his body in a suitcase and dumping it in a lake. Cottrell's lawyers used the gay panic defense, and the jury responded by acquitting him of murder. 

It is vile to realize that 33 states, including Kentucky, would rather protect murderers than victimized LGBTQ+ people. We must overturn these sickening laws now, starting with Kentucky! Sign the petition to stand up for human rights, and against horrific hate crimes.
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