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Report: Anti-LGBT Homicides Nearly Double in 2017

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Hate-related homicides of LGBT people were up 86 percent from 2016, and political rhetoric is partly to blame, says a new report.

If you think it's a dangerous time for LGBT people, you're right.

There was a stunning spike in hate-related homicides of LGBT and HIV-affected people in the U.S. in 2017, with the number reaching 52, up 86 percent from 2016, according to a report released today by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. It's also the highest number recorded by the coalition in its 20-year history of tracking hate crimes.

The victims were mostly transgender women and gay, bisexual, or queer cisgender (nontrans) men. People of color made up the overwhelming majority of victims, 71 percent. Black victims represented 50 percent of the total.

Causes of violence include rhetoric from the highest levels of government, according to coalition leaders.

"This report is a wake-up call for all of us," executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said in a press release. "Our communities live in an increasingly hostile and dangerous climate, after a year of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policies coming from the White House, federal government agencies, state and local sources and in our communities across the country. Anti-LGBTQ violence has long been a crisis, but NCAVP has watched the escalation of violence this past year with great concern.

"I urge everyone to read the stories and look at the photos of the 52 individuals lost to hate violence in 2017 - they are our friends, family, coworkers. and fellow LGBTQ community members. NCAVP will continue to say their names and recommits to doing all we can to prevent hate violence and support survivors. We must bring more attention and action to deal with this epidemic of violence and work across all of our diverse communities to protect those most vulnerable and stand up to the hostile forces that have created this unacceptable climate of hate."

Read the full report here.

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