This page contains research for Puerto Rico:
- By Jordan Blair Woods, Brad Sears, Christy MallorySeptember 2016“Gay panic” and “transgender panic” defenses have been asserted by defendants in criminal trials throughout the U.S. since the 1960s. In these cases, defendants have argued that their violent behavior was a rational response to discovering that the victim was LGBT. The defenses are rooted in irrational fears based on homophobia and transphobia, and send the message that violence against LGBT people is understandable and acceptable. When successful, these defenses have resulted in murder charges being reduced to manslaughter or another lesser offense. To date, only one state, California, has banned defendants from asserting gay or transgender panic defense by statute. In this brief, Williams Institute scholars present model language, based on the language adopted in California, that other states may use to eliminate use of the defenses through legislation. The model legislation offers language to prohibit defendants from using gay and trans panic defenses under each of the major defenses theories of provocation, insanity/diminished capacity, and self-defense. In addition, the brief provides an overview of the ways in which the defenses have been asserted in trials throughout the last several decades, and evaluates potential constitutional challenges to state legislation eliminating use of the defenses.
- By Gary J. GatesJanuary 2015Based on data from Census 2010, there are 6,614 same-sex couples living in Puerto Rico. The majority of same-sex couples are female (70%). In Puerto Rico, 97% of individuals in same-sex couples are Latino/a, compared to 98.8% of individuals in different-sex married couples. Fifteen percent of same-sex couples in the territory (17%) are raising children under age 18 in their homes. More than 710 same-sex-couple households in the territory are raising more than 1,250 children. Same-sex couples with children are nearly 9 times more likely to be fostering a child than different-sex married couples with children in Puerto Rico. The median annual household income of same-sex couples with children under age 18 in the home is 8% less than the median annual household income of different-sex married couples ($33,337 versus $36,367).