A number of LGBTI celebrities have joined forces to demand the Queensland government introduce reforms to finally abolish the “gay panic” defence.
The partial provocation defence – also known as the Homosexual Advance Defence – has been used by people accused of murder to claim they were provoked by an unwanted homosexual advance.
A new video by Change.org features Tom Ballard, Benjamin Law, Faustina Agolley, Joel Creasey and Troye Sivan’s mum Laurelle Mellet, who all urge Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to take action on the reforms before the end of the parliament’s last sitting week for the year.
“Premier Palaszczuk, as a fellow Queenslander, I think we both know that there are a lot of anachronisms in Queensland law,” Mr Law said.
“Please get rid of it before the year’s out. A lot of people are watching and a lot is at stake.”
TV presenter Faustina Agolley added: “There are just three sitting days of Queensland parliament left for 2016 and in those three days, Premier Palaszczuk has the chance to do something that she’s promised but delayed since taking office.”
Catholic priest Father Paul Kelly began a years-long crusade against the laws after Wayne Robert Ruks was fatally bashed by two men on Kelly’s Maryborough church grounds in 2008.
The petition Fr Kelly started on Change.org now has over 289,000 signatures.
A spokesman for Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath told Fairfax Media on Friday that the government would honour their election commitment to reform Queensland laws to exclude an unwanted sexual advance from the partial defence of provocation.
“Amendments to section 304 of the Criminal Code to remove the so-called ‘gay panic’ defence will be introduced to parliament next week,” Ms D’Ath said.