Escape

Trans/Gay Panic Passes Out of House Chamber

Des Moines, IA (March 5th, 2020) – Today HF 2503 was passed out of the House Chamber and into the Senate on a 95-0 vote. This bill would prohibit the usage of the trans/gay panic defense for any violent crime as defined in section 915.10.

Trans/gay panic defense is a legal strategy where a defendant uses the discovery of sexual orientation or gender identity as justification for a loss of self-control and subsequent assault/homicide. Originally, the bill had only outlawed the trans/gay panic defense in terms of homicide, but an amendment co-filed by Representative Liz Bennett and Representative Bobby Kaufmann expanded this to all violent crimes.

“The Iowa House sent a message today that violence against the LGBTQ community is unacceptable,” said Nate Monson, Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools. “This bill will ensure that LGBTQ youth who are victimized will be protected from the cruel defense that their perpetrators harmed them because of who they are. This bill could not have happened without the bipartisan support of Representatives Liz Bennett and Bobby Kaufmann. Representative Kaufmann is a tireless ally to the LGBTQ community.”

About Iowa Safe Schools: The mission of Iowa Safe Schools is to provide safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environments and communities for LGBTQ youth. Iowa Safe Schools is the largest state-wide LGBTQ youth organization in the country. Iowa Safe Schools serves over twenty thousand Iowans annually through education, outreach, and advocacy.

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If you would like more information, please contact Connor Ferguson at (515) 971-3474 or connor@iowasafeschools.org.