All three major party candidates in Adelaide have come together to push for abolition of the ‘gay panic’ murder defence in South Australia.
Liberal member for Adelaide Rachel Sanderson and Labor candidate Jo Chapley have joined openly gay Greens candidate Robert Simms in a public push to scrap the defence, InDaily has reported.
“Seeing the law condoning gay hate crimes is utterly abhorrent,” said Simms.
“Our criminal law is meant to reflect community standards.
“When I tell people about this defence being in place, people are horrified and surprised.
“A whole range of other states have got rid of the gay panic defence … if conservative Queensland can do it why on earth can’t South Australia do it?”
Sanderson agreed that the defence is “outdated and should have no place in our legal system”.
“I support its removal and a review of the provocation laws,” she said.
Chapley said she was “very supportive of the removal of the gay panic defence”.
Queensland was the most recent state to outlaw the gay panic defence, scrapping it in 2017 after years of community lobbying.
The campaign was largely led by Father Paul Kelly following a murder on the grounds of his Maryborough church, for which the killer served only four years in jail after using the gay panic defence.
“Queensland’s criminal code must not be seen to condone violence against the gay community, or indeed any community,” said Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath when the defence was repealed.
The South Australian state election will be held on March 17.