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D.C. Council committee approves bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense

The D.C. Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously on Monday to approve a bill supported by LGBTQ activists that bans the use of the so-called gay and transgender panic defense in criminal trials, clearing the way for the expected passage of the legislation by the full Council in December.

Supporters of the legislation say it is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

The attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in

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