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Monday, December 10, 2012
New Age of Activism Top 12 and Beyond: Human Rights Campaign:FBI Reported Hate Crimes Based on Sexual Orientation on the Rise by Paul Guequierre
Earlier today the FBI released the 2011 Hate Crime Statistics, finding for the first time, crimes directed against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation are the second most frequent hate crime committed after crimes based on race. Surpassing crimes committed on the basis on religion, the number of reported hate crimes committed against gay men and lesbians increased from 1,277 in 2010 to 1,293 in 2011.
Hate crimes statistics are submitted to the FBI by law enforcement agencies across the country on a voluntary basis – there is no requirement under the law for agencies to submit the data. In 2011, the number of agencies reporting this data dropped to 14,575, a decrease from 14,977 the previous year. Of these data-submitting agencies, only 1,944 reported even a single hate crime to the FBI, the lowest number of agencies reporting one or more hate crimes since 2002.
Change is coming to the way hate crimes are reported. The FBI does not collect data on hate crimes committed on the basis of gender identity. Under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the FBI will begin collecting this data in 2013 and will report these statistics beginning in 2014. HRC and partner organizations have worked with the FBI to implement changes to hate crimes data collection since the passage of the Act in 2009, assisting in updating the agency’s crime reporting form and training materials to include gender identity.
"Love conquers hate." It's an iconic message that the Human Rights Campaign's members and supporters have spread to millions around the United States.
But right now in Russia, LGBT people and our allies who support basic fairness and dignity face a different reality. They are being targeted by hateful new laws that outlaw support for LGBT equality. Even with the 2014 Sochi Olympics just a few months away, fair-minded Russians are facing fines, harassment, and violence at the hands of thugs.
At this dangerous moment in Russian history, we as advocates have a responsibility to speak up and take our hopeful message global. That's why I'm joining HRC's Love Conquers Hate campaign, in hopes that more and more fair-minded people around the world will stand up and fight against the Russian government's campaign of hate.