Cuomo signs law banning 'gay panic' defense; thousands march at Pride celebration

Jul 1, 2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that would bar people who attack or kill a gay person in the state from arguing they panicked over their victim's sexuality.

The Democrat signed the bill on Sunday in Manhattan, where he was taking part in the city's LGBTQ pride march. The state Legislature passed the measure earlier in June.

Previously, those accused of violent attacks could argue that they were under extreme distress, that they panicked after the victim made a sexual advance or otherwise revealed their sexuality. The legislation made it that such an excuse could not be considered a "reasonable explanation" for a violent crime.

Exuberant crowds carrying rainbow colors filled New York City streets Sunday for one of the largest pride parades in the history of the gay-rights movement, a dazzling celebration of the 50th anniversary of the infamous police raid on the Stonewall Inn.

Marchers and onlookers took over much of midtown Manhattan with a procession that lasted hours and paid tribute to the uprising that began at the tavern when patrons resisted officers on June 28, 1969. The parade in New York and others like it across the nation concluded a month of events marking the anniversary.

Earlier in the day, a crowd of about 2,000 people gathered outside the Stonewall Inn.