Queer panic won’t absolve murder in California

In the past, defendants in murder cases were often able to argue their way to the lesser charge of manslaughter if the killings happened during a “sudden quarrel” or in the “heat of passion,” which frequently saw defendants claiming they were so shocked to learn that their victim was gay or trans that they had no other recourse besides violence.

The new law clearly outlines that a defendant’s discomfort with, suprise [sic] at, or fear of a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity may not be used as a legal defense to justify the assault.