'Gay panic' defence thrown out in Qld

Stuart Layt

Queensland's so-called "gay panic" defence for murder has been scrapped following a vote in state parliament.

The partial defence to murder had allowed defendants to argue for a reduction to manslaughter by claiming an unwanted homosexual advance provoked violence.

Similar defences have been ruled out through legislation in every other state except South Australia.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the defence wasn't specifically in the criminal code but had built up over time in common law through judge's rulings.

"Equality before the law is a fundamental principle of human rights and the amendment ... will ensure that this provision operates equally for all members of our community," Mrs D'Ath said.

The opposition supported the repeal in general, however shadow attorney-general Ian Walker moved a series of changes to the amendment which would have addressed concerns over whether the repeal would affect women who had faced abuse and lashed out.

That move was defeated on Tuesday evening, with Mrs D'Ath pointing out they had extensive consultation in both legal and LGBTI circles while the bill was being considered.

The current push to repeal the defence was spearheaded by Maryborough priest Father Paul Kelly after the fatal 2008 bashing of Wayne Ruks in his church yard, after which the killers raised the defence at trial.

Father Kelly said he was happy Queensland had finally ditched the "archaic" legal provision but was surprised it took so long.

"So many people said this was a no-brainer and that it was clearly an archaic law, so I did feel the resistance to it was an ideological one," he told AAP.

"It's been a long, long journey."

He said the vast majority of people appeared to support his push for the partial defence, which tapped into a "deep-seated bigotry", to be thrown out.