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S. 1721 (116th): Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2019

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About the bill

Should a straight murderer of a gay or trans person be able to claim “He (or she) was coming on to me” as a valid legal defense?


The gay-panic or trans-panic defense is a legal strategy in which a defendant argues that they committed a crime against a gay or trans person as a result of fear or shock. Some have described it as the “I only killed him because he was coming on to me” defense.

The strategy has been successfully used in about half of all states since its introduction in the 1960s, including some perhaps-surprising states such as California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

In the last few years, though, amid a broader groundswell of support for the LGBT community and LGBT rights, the tide ...

Sponsor and status

Edward “Ed” Markey

Sponsor. Senator for Massachusetts. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Length: 4 pages
Jun 5, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on June 5, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.



Jun 5, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S. 1721 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 1721. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

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We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 1721 — 116th Congress: Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2019.” 2019. March 8, 2021 <>

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