*** Just received this from Nathan (Change.org) and believe it should be publicised.
“Yeah, I killed him, but he did worse to me.” These are the words of a man who reacted to some “gentle touching” from a gay man by ramming his victim’s head against a wall until he was unrecognisable, and then stabbing him to death .
This infamous 1997 case enshrined the “gay panic” defence in Queensland law — allowing accused murderers to have charges downgraded if their victim was gay and “came onto” them.
Just two years ago, a man was brutally killed in Father Paul Kelly’s church yard, and his killer used this same defence. He was subsequently acquitted of murder .
Father Paul was horrified that this argument was even allowed in court, and has launched a huge campaign to ensure it’s abolished. Queensland’s new Premier Campbell Newman, is yet to declare his personal position — and a surge in pressure in the coming days may ensure the new government commits to finally ending the “gay panic” defence.
A recent study named Queensland as Australia’s most homophobic state, and anti-gay violence is reportedly on the rise . Laws like the “gay panic” defence are a crucial part of legitimising and reinforcing a culture which means that 73% of gay and lesbian Queenslanders are subjected to verbal abuse or physical violence for their sexuality .
While fierce community opposition has convinced almost all other state governments to close similar loopholes, the outcry has fallen on deaf ears in Queensland. It’s now one of the last states upholding the idea that a person can be panicked enough by gay and lesbian people to justify murder. Thousands like Father Paul are fed up with the inaction — it’s the perfect moment for the new Premier to take a stand and promise to close this “archaic” loophole.
This could be the best chance Queensland will have for years to fix what law expert Alan Berman calls a “repulsive and dangerous partial defence”. If thousands of people speak out now, it will force Newman to commit to closing the loophole — and take meaningful steps towards reducing discrimination and violence towards gay and lesbian people in Queensland.
Thanks for being part of this,
Nathan and the Change.org team
SIGN PETITION HERE.
 Courier Mail, October 6 2011, “Law says it’s not murder if the victim is gay and “comes on to you” http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/better-laws-needed-to-protect-gays/story-e6frerdf-1226160221310?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7455&alert_id=QQANcOpPHE_ThNugPURCS
 Brisbane Times, “Men jailed over churchyard ‘homosexual’ bashing death”http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/men-jailed-over-churchyard-homosexual-bashing-death-20100513-v099.html
 Anti-gay violence on the rise http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/gay-men-targets-of-violence/2008/11/02/1225560616212.html?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7455&alert_id=QQANcOpPHE_ThNugPURCS
Queensland Australia’s most homophobic state http://www.glhv.org.au/files/aust_inst_homophobia_paper.pdf?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7455&alert_id=QQANcOpPHE_ThNugPURCS
 Dr Alan Berman, legal expert and co-author of a study into homophobic violence in Queensland http://lgbtlawblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/homophobic-violence-in-queensland.html?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7455&alert_id=QQANcOpPHE_ThNugPURCS