Pressure is mounting for the abolition of an antiquated law allowing Queenslanders who kill homosexuals to have a murder charge reduced to manslaughter by arguing that their victim propositioned them.
The "gay panic" defence has been successfully deployed in criminal cases in recent years, including that of a 45-year-old man, Wayne Ruks, who was beaten to death in the town of Maryborough in 2008 by two drinking companions, Jason Pearce, 38, and Richard Meerdink, 41.
Ruks' body was found the following morning in the churchyard of a Catholic church, whose parish priest, Father Paul Kelly, has been campaigning ever since to have the Homosexual Advance Defence removed from the state's common law.
On Sunday, Brisbane's Anglican Archbishop, Phillip Aspinall, backed those calls, saying: "I don't think it's reasonable to murder someone who approaches you sexually. Violence is never a constructive response."
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Speaking to AAP after his Easter Sunday mass, Aspinall added that Kelly was "on the right track, well and truly".
The partial defence - scrapped by other Australian states years ago - was also successfully raised at the trial of Patrick Peterson, 36, and Seamus Smith, 26, who fatally bashed a 62-year-old hitchhiker, Stephen Ward, six months after Ruks was killed. In the Ruks case, his mother insisted he was not gay.
Defendants have argued that the sexual advance provoked them to such a degree that they were not fully responsible for their actions.
Kelly has collected more than 224,000 signatures on a petition calling on the state Government to revoke the defence. The new Labor Government has promised to abolish it, but has not yet announced a timetable for reform.
As well as gay rights organisations, local media have called for the defence to be struck out. Even Bill Potts, a criminal lawyer who has successfully used it in a murder trial, told the Courier Mail the defence was "archaic, homophobic and often unreasonable".
An editorial in the Fraser Coast Chronicle said: "It's hard to believe a defence like this could still exist in these so-called enlightened times, particularly when men of the cloth - not always known as the greatest friends of the gay and lesbian community - can clearly see the bigotry, prejudice and intolerance inherent in this defence."
The paper added: "It should be clear to everyone - particularly lawmakers. It's time this defence was consigned to the past once and for all."