With same-sex marriage now legal in six states and policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on their way out, it would seem that the tides have finally begun to turn in favor of LGBT rights. But a report released last week (pdf) reveals that anti-LGBT hate crimes rose sharply last year – drawing a grim picture for LGBT rights that stands in stark contrast to the legal gains that have been made in recent years.
The report, released by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, states that anti-LGBT hate crimes rose by 13 percent from 2009 to 2010, with murders rising by 23 percent. In total, 27 murders were reported in 2010 – the second-highest number in the past ten years.
Transgender people and people of color were twice as likely “to experience assault, discrimination and intimidation” in relation to their white and non-transgender counterparts. Seventy percent of the murder victims reported were people of color. Moreover, the report states, only about half of those who faced hate-motivated violence reported the incidents to the police.
NCAVP collected data for this annual report through information obtained from 17 local anti-violence non-profit organizations nationwide. Because incidents are self-reported, it’s unclear whether the rise in figures is the result of increasing violence, better reporting or both – but NCAVP also notes that their reported figures are likely to be smaller than actual numbers of anti-LGBT violence nationwide.