WA Legislature Passes Nikki Kuhnhausen Act Outlawing LGBTQ+ Panic Defense

"The Washington State Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that will make the state's legal system less homophobic and transphobic, and that honors a recently murdered transgender teenager.

Titled the Nikki Kuhnhausen Act, the bill outlaws the use of the LGBTQ+ panic defense. Also known as the gay-panic or trans-panic defense, this is a legal strategy arguing that uses of force against an LGBTQ+ person are sometimes justified. The shock of learning about that identity, the panic defense argues, could temporarily diminish someone's capacity to act reasonably, or cause them to fear they are at risk of sexual assault from the LGBTQ+ person."



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