Resource Center Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell testified before the Texas House’s Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence on Monday about the “gay panic” bill now working its way through the Legislature. Dallas Rep. Jessica Gonzalez sits on the committee.

McDonnell said 12 witnesses testified on HB 3281. Ten were in favor of the legislation that would outlaw “gay panic”  as a defense along with use of the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation as a defense for murder. When Texas Values Coalition spoke against the bill, one representative said, “You’re always against everything.”

McDonnell said that with all the publicity anti-LGBT bills were getting, it’s good to know some positive things are working their way through the Legislature as well.

In addition, Gonzalez had three bills voted out of committee yesterday:

HB 3500: Relating to the representation of certain indigent applicants for a writ of habeas corpus.

HB 2973: Relating to a defendant’s payment of costs associated with a court-appointed counsel.

HB 3206: Relating to the prosecution and punishment of the offense of prostitution, to juvenile court referrals for conduct constituting prostitution, and to a court cost imposed on conviction of certain prostitution offenses.

— David Taffet