End Anti-LGBT Bigotry as a Defense in Court and Legalize Surrogacy in NY

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This month marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The eyes of the world are on New York and we need your help. We have less than one week to pass critical legislation to ban the using of anti-LGBT bigotry as a defense in court and to legalize gestational surrogacy in New York.

It remains a valid legal defense to murder in our state to claim that a defendant panicked upon learning that their victim was LGBT.

In 2013, Islan Nettles, died as a result of injuries inflicted during a brutal anti-trans attack. Islan was 21 years old when her mother, Delores, faced a parent’s nightmare of having to decide whether to remove her child from life support. During trial, Islan’s attacker successfully invoked what’s known as the “trans panic defense” and received a lesser sentence — only 12 years for the unprovoked attack and killing of an unarmed woman as she walked to work.

LGBT New Yorkers should not have to live in fear that being out could provide justification for violence against them. That is why LeGaL stands with Governor Cuomo in working to ban the use of so-called “trans-panic” or “gay-panic” defense.

But we can’t stop there. About one- third of LGBTQ adults are parents. For years, LeGaL has been winning the fight to protect LGBTQ families and their children from unjust laws. Today, New York is one of only three states nationwide that bans compensated surrogacy agreements.

We need the Child-Parent Security Act to modernize our antiquated laws so that LGBTQ individuals and couples who rely on medical advances to form families are able to do so here at home.

We will never stop fighting for equality and justice for LGBTQ people. Help us make sure that Speaker Carl Heastie, and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins hear from you demanding a floor vote on both these bills!

Call and ask your state representatives to ban the gay and trans panic defense and pass the Child Parent Security Act.

Executive Director, LeGaL @lgbtbarny. Attorney promoting justice in & through the legal profession for the #LGBT community. 40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

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