Let’s Have a Look…

Have a look at some very interesting facts about gay hate crimes in the US.  After doing some research, I totally found out the same thing that I pretty much already knew (coupled with rather intriguing statistics), but also that people can be absolutely MEAN!  Like seriously, it’s amazing what a person can do when they feel threatened by another human being because they are different from them.  According to www.revelandriot.com, the term “hate crime” is defined as “a crime directed at a person on the basis of characteristics such as race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.” A hate crime can be caused by biases: cultural, religious, and political.

Knowing this, from a cultural aspect it seems kind of ironic because the LGBT community has people from many walks of life and backgrounds, (which all ties together in a cultural sense).  And I don’t know but that bias is just strange to me because culture is so broad, in terms of everything including religion and ethnicity.  But hey, I guess everyone is just different no matter where they come from…but enough of the rambling…back to the basics.

So back in 2009 the FBI reported that there were 7,789 hate crime offenses.  Of that rather large number, 17.8% were targeted towards LGBT individuals.  Hence, 1,386 people were harmed because of their sexual orientation. This number was only significant 4 years ago; the number has most certainly increased as of today.  And also in October 2009, according to revelandriot, the US bill expanded hate crimes covered by the Federal Law to sexual orientation bias, which also led to a significant decrease of anti-transgender hate crimes.

More importantly, did you know that only 1/3 of victims of hate crimes actually report the incident to the police? Did you also know that most hate crimes are directed at gay men? And did you even know that violence and hate crimes towards LGBT persons increase in the early summer months because of “Pride Week”? I bet you didn’t, and if you did go you! But if not thanks to www.dosomething.org you do now!

After discovering all of these facts I must say that I was extremely shocked, yet again not completely surprised because I as a person am aware of how wicked a human being can be simply because of the stories I’ve heard over time.  As the years go on hate crimes are becoming more brutal.  The 2009 Uniform Crime Reporting Survey in Canada found that nearly 75% of LGBT hate crimes were very violent in nature, and in the same year the FBI reported that five rapes and six murders were committed because of sexual orientation. 

With this in mind, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd’s Hate Crime Prevention Act in 2009.  Matthew Shepard and James Byrd were both victimized to violent hate crime acts.  Matthew Shepard in particular was brutally beaten in 1998 by two men in Wyoming, in which police and friends believe because he was gay. Although his perpetrators say they were only trying to rob someone, prosecutors on the case suspect Shepard was targeted because he was gay. 

On that note I can only say one thing, hate crimes can only be defined as one word: “Madness”.



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