by Kevin Hague
Sometimes the time is just right for an idea. There have been calls for many years for a repeal of the partial defence of provocation in charges of murder.
This was the defence argument run unsuccessfully by Clayton Weatherston, but successfully in the killing of Ronald Brown. This successful case was only the most recent of many over the years in which the “homosexual panic” version of the defence was used. In this variant a straight man is so unnerved by the homosexuality of another (typically in the context of an unwanted sexual advance) that he loses self-control and homicidal violence unleashed. The existence of this partial defence has been perceived by the gay community as a major inequity in the law, signalling to all that gay men are not entitled to equal protection under the law.
The Green Party is committed to full legal equality and has strongly supported the repeal of this partial defence. It was a great honour for me to be able to stand in the House yesterday to support the Government bill to effect this repeal. The Bill was supported by all parties, and I thank them all.