US sees a rise in religion based anti-gay hate crimes

By staff writers
November 26, 2009

New statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA indicate an 11 per cent rise in reports of homophobic hate crime across America over the past last year. A majority (58 per cent) of the 1,706 victims targeted for their sexual orientation were gay men.

The data, released this week, shows an overall rise of two per cent for all hate crimes, but this was markedly higher for anti-gay incidents and also for hate crimes based on religion, which rose nine per cent - reports

Some 7,783 hate crimes were voluntarily reported to the agency by participating law enforcement agencies, involving a total of 9,691 victims. Around a third of the cases were physical attacks, another third were intimidation and the remaining third were vandalism or property damage.

The FBI has cautioned that year-to-year comparisons are difficult due to the change in the number of law enforcement agencies which chose to participate.

The number of participating agencies rose by 449, or 3.4 per cent, on the previous year. It has also been argued that higher rates may be due to more people coming forward to report such crimes.

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