Troye Sivan celebrates end of ‘gay panic’ defence


South African born Aussie star Troye Sivan and his mother have shared their joy at the Australian state of Queensland no longer allowing the “gay panic defence”.

The defence is used in cases of assault or murder whereby the accused claims that the victim’s sexuality or romantic or sexual advances caused him or her to go into a state of violent temporary insanity.

On Tuesday, the Queensland Parliament passed legislation that removes the defence from the criminal code. The provision had allowed those successfully using gay panic to reduce charges of murder to manslaughter.

“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 in a statement.

The change to the law followed a five year campaign by Catholic priest Paul Kelly after a man was bashed to death on the ground of his church. The killer’s conviction was downgraded to manslaughter on the basis of gay panic.

Fr Kelly launched a petition that received almost 300,000 signatures. “I’ve made it my mission to see this revolting law abolished – it belongs in the dark ages. I have no words to describe how offensive, harmful and dangerous it is that two of our governments uphold that a person can be panicked enough by gay people to justify murder,” wrote teh cleric.

Fr Kelly said in response to the change to the criminal code that he was “delighted” and could finally “breathe a sigh of relief”.

In a video posted on Facebook, the openly gay Troye thanked the priest for his work to “fight for the abolition of the homophobic gay panic defence and for preventing killers from thinking it’s okay to kill gay men for making a pass at them or flirting with them”.

His mother, Laurelle, added: “As a mother of a gay son this could not be more important to me. A huge congrats on your people power win.”

Sivan was born in South Africa before emigrating to Australia when he was two. He became a household name after he played the part of Spud in the three film adaptations of the best-selling South African novels.

In 2013, he came out as gay in a frank video to his YouTube followers, which number over 4 million. The multi-talented star released his stunning debut studio album, Blue Neighbourhood in 2015.

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