In the News

Murphy Signs 'Gay or Trans Panic' Bill Into Law

New Jersey Law Journal

January 27, 2020

“Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a bill into law that makes New Jersey the ninth state to ban the use of the ‘gay or trans panic’ legal defense in state courtrooms, where a defendant claims provocation by sudden revelation of the victim's sexual orientation or gender.

“The new law becomes effective immediately and prohibits the use of the legal defense in homicide cases where a defendant claims provocation, or heat of passion, by sudden knowledge of the victim's sexual orientation or gender.

According to the article, “Tom Prol, the first openly gay president of the New Jersey State Bar Association and a founding and current executive board member of Garden State Equality, said he was gratified by the governor's and Legislature's action in an email to the Law Journal.

" ‘I am grateful to Governor Murphy for signing this historic legislation that has immediately put an end to the gay and trans panic defense in the Garden State,’" said Prol, a partner with Sills Cummis & Gross who testified before both the Senate and Assembly judiciary committees in support of the bill. " ‘No longer will a murderer be able to tell a jury that their victim 'had it coming' because they were a member of the LGBTQ community.’"