The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) was very proud to successfully lobby, together with other LGBTIQA+ advocates, to finally get rid of the outdated and cruel gay panic defence.
Used in South Australia as recently as in 2015, the defence allowed convictions for the murder of gay men to be reduced to manslaughter, simply if a heterosexual male killer says he was provoked by a gay man making a “pass” at him.
In October 2020 our joint petition with Equality Australia was signed by over 38,000 Australians calling for an end to the gay panic defence. 2 months later the South Australian parliament finally abolished this outdated law.
As part of our petition we also proposed an amendment to the Sentencing Act that would strengthen protections against hate crime for all marginalised South Australians. You can read our joint letter to the Attorney-General with Equality Australia here. We look forward to Parliament debating this issue in 2021/22.
The abolition of gay panic comes after years of advocacy by the LGBTIQA+ community. You can read our 2015 submission to the South Australian Law Reform Institute’s (SALRI) Review of South Australian laws and regulations to identify discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or intersex status here.
Image: Kelly Vincent (Policy & Project Officer, middle) and Matthew Morris (Board Chair, right) deliver SARAA & Equality Australia’s petition to Attorney-General Vickie Chapman (left) calling for the abolition of the gay panic defence.
Image: Kelly Vincent (Policy & Project Officer, right) delivers SARAA & Equality Australia’s petition to Attorney-General Vickie Chapman (left) calling for the abolition of the gay panic defence.