Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hate Crimes Against Gays

The FBI released a report this week showing that hate crimes against gays and lesbians accounted for the third largest number of bias crimes in the country last year. Attacks on members of the LGBT community were reported in 14.2 percent of the cases. This number is considered low because not all gay victims report attacks on them because they don't want to be outed publicly and because some parts of the country don't track LGBT bias crimes.

In Massachusetts we can get married, we can adopt children, we can’t be fired from our jobs or evicted from our homes for being gay; but what does any of that matter if other members of our community are getting their face bashed in with baseball bats.

This week in San Diego a man was slashed with a knife when he tried to stop a teenager from being gay bashed on the trolley. It started when a man in his thirties was verbally harassing a gay teenager. The man then punched the gay teen in the face.

Another passenger on the trolley stepped up to help the young gay man. At that point the attacker took out a
knife and slashed the man that was trying to help the gay teen. The gay basher escaped at the next stop. Both the young gay man and the older man who tried to help him are OK. They are lucky to be alive.

In July six men were attacked after they left San Diego's gay pride festival. They were taunted with homophobic slurs and then beaten with a baseball bat. One victim needed reconstructive surgery on his face after being hit almost a dozen times with an aluminum bat.

The LGBT community is the third largest group attacked for being who we are. There are no federal hate crime laws against these attacks. This is a major probl
em we have to address.

We have our governor and a few legislators spewing anti-gay rhetoric from the
podium and in the newspapers. Politicians and anti-gay organizations are very loudly saying that gays are ruining families, destroying society, and are "intrinsically evil". I am not surprised that people are acting out violently against the LGBT community.

Anti-gay events such as Liberty Sunday spread hate all across America. That hate turns into violence. These politicians and organizations need to be held accountable for the climate of violence they are creating.

For more information on hate crime legislation, visit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force or the Human Rights Campaign.


At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I love your blog Chriss. You write the most interesting articles!!

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Laurel said...

I am most surprised at the result that religion is the 2nd most commonly reported reason for hate crimes. I know the federal gov't is enormously biased against Middle Eastern people who will frequently be Muslim, but as for the bat-woelding thugs downtown?? I've never read a news report of a Ctholic jumping a Born Again, for example. Is it possible that church burnings are being called anti-religion hate crimes, and the numbers of 'victims' is being counted as the congregation of the churches?

Regarding anti-LGBT hate crimes, 14+% is huge, considering we are a tiny minority in the country and often invisible.


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