"Yeah, I killed him, but he did worse to me."
In 1997, a man in Queensland, Australia killed a gay man who he claimed had been flirting with him by bashing his head into a wall and then stabbing him to death. Today, "gay panic" is still a legal defense for murder in Queensland, which can result in reduced charges. In fact, just two years ago, a man was brutally killed in a Queensland churchyard, and his killer used the "gay panic" defense in court. He was subsequently acquitted of murder.
Father Paul Kelly is a priest in the parish where that man was killed, and he started a petition on Change.org demanding that Queensland abolish the gay panic defense. It looked like Father Kelly's petition was headed for victory, but now there's a new Premier in Queensland, Campbell Newman, and he won't say whether he will abolish the gay panic loophole. Father Kelly thinks it's crucial to build quick international pressure on Premier Newman, particularly from important Australian allies like the UK -- click here to add your name to Father Kelly's petition demanding that Queensland abolish the gay panic defense.
A recent study named Queensland as Australia’s most homophobic state -- 73% of gay and lesbian Queenslanders are subjected to verbal abuse or physical violence for their sexuality. Father Kelly believes that if the gay panic defense stands, Queensland's gay community will be forced to live in terror knowing that the law is on their tormentors' side.
"The support from people in Australia for my petition has been wonderful," Father Kelly says, "but we need help from our friends in the UK. We need to send Premier Newman a message that he is being watched, and we will not tolerate this despicable gay panic loophole."
Click here to sign Father Kelly's petition demanding that Queensland abolish the legal loophole that justifies the murder of gay people.
Thanks for being part of this,
- Katharine and the Change.org team