Under a new measure passed in Washington state, “Gay Panic” is not a legal defense for murder. Nine states have legislatively banned the use of gay or transgender panic as a legal defense. The new Washington measure, passed by the Senate on a bipartisan 46-3 vote yesterday, is named after Nikki Kuhnhausen, a transgender teen who was killed last year.
Her alleged killer has pleaded not guilty. Authorities believe the Vancouver teenager was strangled after her assailant learned she was transgender.
The legislation now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee desk for his signature.