The gay panic defense is a legal defense against assault and murder charges on the grounds that the defendant acted out of “a state of temporary insanity” because of homosexual panic, a “psychiatric condition” in which one suffers temporary psychosis caused by unwanted homosexual advances.
In other words, the gay panic defense makes it ok to kill someone who is gay (or someone you believe to be gay) because they are hitting on you (or you are afraid that they may hit on you).
While losing credibility due to its complete lack of scientific proof, this defense was used in the Matthew Shepard case and is still totally legal in Australian Common law.
There’s a petition on Change.org to eliminate this defense from the books and hold homophobes accountable when they attack innocent people.
Click here to sign the petition and help aid in the prosecution of hate crimes.
I’m really glad I’m majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies and not Music Technology like my (lovely) girlfriend.
She’s playing with wires and suffering through math while my GSS professor has started a hashtag specifically for her class on Twitter. #winning.
In the great debate over whether or not sexuality is a choice, I want to punch Cynthia Nixon in the face. While I
totally respect can tolerate that she thinks that maybe she is gay by choice, declaring it in that interview gives every anti-gay, homophobic asshole the ammunition to say, “Cynthia Nixon, a big gay herself, said its a choice so by George it must be!”
I don’t pretend to know exactly how sexual orientation is formed, and anyone who says they do is full of horse poopy, but there is an inherent problem in saying that it is EITHER genetic OR a choice. Which ever way it goes has complications…
Sexuality as a choice:
- Gives every right-wing, conservative, religious, bastard the ammunition to say that if sexual orientation is a choice then one can just simply choose to stop being gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer.
- However, there is some legitimacy in saying that one chooses to act upon their sexuality rather than live closeted. But this is in no way the same as saying that one chooses to be gay or straight.
- If Cynthia Nixon, or other people, believe that they chose to be gay than it’s not really my place to say that they didn’t; I have no way of knowing how they feel or how their sexual identity developed.
Sexuality as something we are born with:
- Some people are left-handed and some people aren’t. Some people are gay and some people aren’t. If its something we are born with than it’s just part of the natural variance within the human species and its nothing to be “changed” or “cured”.
- But (as was pointed out to me in my Gender and Sexuality Studies class) saying that we were “born this way” implies that if we DID have a choice we would choose to not be this way, but we can’t because it is something that we were born with – like some kind of birth defect.
It’s not by any means a pretty argument.
In Cynthia’s defense, she later clarified her comment, saying that bisexuality is NOT a choice but being in a relationship with a woman is.
Advice of the Day: Think before you speak, or crazy closeted republicans are going to turn what you say into a reason to deny people basic human rights. And that sucks.