Passage of New Bill Banning Gay Panic or Transgender Panic Defense



The Delta County Courthouse was established in 1958, but Senate Bill 221 was signed just days ago, and it wasn’t easy. State Representative with District 54, Matt Soper says, “To have a bill killed, and then have to lobby for late bill status for it to be brought back, knowing that the window of opportunity is on your side, it was definitely, it was pretty cool to be a part of.”

This new bill bans old ways of using gay or transgender panic as a defense in a court of law. “We’re not going to allow, at trial, someone to introduce evidence talking about the sexual persuasion, or the sexual identity of the victim,” says Representative Soper.

State Representative Soper’s new bill was signed Monday, July 13th ending gay panic defense, and the Monday before that his Broadband Bill was signed to help potentially boost internet connection in rural Colorado, but Matt’s not done. His next goal is in November. Matt says, “I’m out talking to lots of groups, i’m knocking on doors, making phone calls, raising money. Doing all the good things you should do as a candidate. Although, this year it’s been kind of tricky with COVID-19.”

COVID-19 can make a campaign tricky, and it can definitely delay the Law Enforcement Integrity Bill (SB20-217) from being fully implemented, but it can’t delay the inevitable. “We want to make sure we have a healthy balance between protecting law enforcement, and protecting the public, and we want to make sure we have that balance, and we’re not arbitrarily punishing law enforcement just because that seems to be in vogue right now, ” says Representative Soper.

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