New Report on LGBT Hate Crimes in America

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The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs is issuing its annual report today (July 13) on hate violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

U.S. stats from 2009 reflect a 12 percent decline in the number of survivors/victims of hate violence with overall reported incidents down 7 percent since 2008. NCAVP reports the drop is more likely due to less enforcement because of funding cuts than an actual decline in violence.

Of 2009 incidents, 40 percent were by strangers, 12 percent by employers and co-workers and 6 percent by law enforcement officers, including unjustified arrest and entrapment.

The report also lists 22 murders, (the second-highest rate in 10 years. Additionally, 79 percent of incidents were against people of color and 50 percent of victims were transgender women. More than half of all murders took place during Pride season—May, June, July—when LGBT people are more visible.

A Harvard Public Health study stated that LGB people are 1.5-2 times more likely to be targets of violence than the general population.

Idaho is one of 14 states lacking hate crime protections for LGBT people. The Uniform Crime Reporting for 2009, published annually by the Idaho State Police, reports just four incidents of LGB hate crimes in the Gem State.

“I don’t believe these numbers accurately represent the number of LGBT hate crimes in Idaho,” said ACLU of Idaho Legislative Director, Hannah Brass. “Research shows that hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation are under reported, and this is far more likely to be true here in Idaho where state law does not recognize hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”