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FBI data shows an uptick in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes in 2022

Hate crimes based on gender identity were up 32.9% year over year.

By Will Fritz - October 19, 2023
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LGBTQ rights
A supporter of LGBTQ+ youth holds a placard during a rally in Los Angeles on August 22, 2023. (Photo by Ringo Chiu / Sipa USA via AP Images)

The FBI released its annual crime report on Monday, and the data show that the number of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people increased over the prior year’s report.

The latest crime report, which contains data from 2022, indicates that reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation were up 13.8% compared to 2021.

The report recorded a total of 1,947 hate crimes based on sexual orientation and 469 hate crimes based on gender identity across the United States in 2022. The total number of hate crimes in those categories was 1,711 and 315, respectively, in 2021.

Hate crimes motivated by victims’ race and ethnicity were far and away the largest category, accounting for 56% of reported hate crimes. The FBI said sexual orientation-related hate crimes were the third-most common category reported, after hate crimes based on race or ethnicity and religion. 

“The rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community is both shocking and heartbreaking, yet sadly, not unexpected,” Human Rights Campaign President Kelly Robinson said in a statement.

The report found that violent crime on the whole declined between 2021 and 2022 in multiple categories, with a particularly large drop of 6.1% in the number of murders and manslaughters, making the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes even more significant.

Robinson tied the surge in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes to the wave of state-level legislation aimed at curtailing the community’s rights, especially those of transgender people.

The American Civil Liberties Union recorded 501 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state capitols across the country in 2023 as of Oct. 17. Of those, 84 have been signed into law.

Many of the bills have restricted access to gender-affirming care, banned drag shows, and permitted schools to ban books that make any mention of LGBTQ+ people.

“The constant stream of hostile rhetoric from fringe anti-equality figures, alongside the relentless passage of discriminatory bills, particularly those targeting transgender individuals, in state legislatures, created an environment where it was sadly foreseeable that individuals with violent tendencies might respond to this rhetoric,” Robinson said in the statement. “The FBI’s data serves as another alarming indicator of the state of emergency our community finds itself in.”

Robinson also noted that the FBI’s data is incomplete because not all local law enforcement agencies in the country contribute data.

“If we’re going to bring a stop to that violence, we need a full accounting of just how many hate crimes are taking place – and that requires every jurisdiction stepping up,” Robinson said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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