British comedian Stephen Fry has joined calls for an end to Queensland’s ‘gay panic’ legal loophole as the Change.org petition on the issue passed the 10,000 signature mark today.

Queensland priest Father Paul Kelly started the campaign to end the loophole that allows people accused of murder to claim partial defence of provocation in relation to a homosexual advance.

It followed the brutal 2008 killing of a man in Kelly’s church grounds in Maryborough. The defendants used the gay panic defence, claiming the victim came on to them and the sheer panic they felt was partial justification for murder.

Fry shared a link to the petition with his 3.7 million Twitter followers today.

Liberal National Party MP Ted Sorensen has said 10,000 signatures was the trigger needed for him to take the issue to Parliament, but Queensland Attorney General Paul Lucas has signalled that he’d wait for an expert committee examining the loophole to report back before making any changes.

Father Kelly said he was delighted with the response to the petition but was doubtful that the Labor Government will act, given they have had plenty of opportunity to do so while in power.

“The Bligh Government really just seems to be tinkering at the edges of reform,” he said.

“There is an opportunity for Opposition Leader Campbell Newman to seize the initiative and to take a positive step towards reducing discrimination and violence towards gay and lesbian people in Queensland.”

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