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Australian Police Finally Admit Hate Caused 27 Gay Deaths

Australia

Many of the men had been thrown off cliffs or were the victims of other violent acts.

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An investigation of past suspicious deaths in the LGBT community by Australian authorities has confirmed that dozens of killings were motivated by hate.

After a three-year review of 88 murders, a task force from the New South Wales Police found that at least 27 men were slain by homophobic killers between 1975 and 2000. In 25 other cases, antigay motivation could not be ruled out.

Police and researchers agreed that eight of the 27 deaths were hate crimes. The remaining 19 cases involved a probable antigay bias.

The report noted that these killings were "extreme and often brutal," particularly during the height of the AIDS crisis when antigay sentiment was at its peak. Gay men were targeted where they congregated. Some of the victims were thrown off cliffs in Sydney, and the bodies of others were discovered in parks.

A statement from the New South Wales Police acknowledged "without qualification both its and society's acceptance of gay bashings and shocking violence directed at gay men, and the LGBT community between 1976 and 2000," reports the BBC. The statement confirmed, "There were certainly people murdered because of their sexuality during this time."

The task force was sparked by a report from the Australian Institute of Criminology, which questioned whether past cases involving gay deaths had been properly investigated by authorities.

Tony Crandell, assistant commissioner of the New South Wales Police, said "there were mistakes made" that resulted in police failing to investigate reports of violence against the LGBT community. He said this effectively gave assailants a "license" to kill gay and bi men.

"We accept that there were mistakes made. We accept there are improvements required. We accept that we can learn from the past and we can do better," Crandell said Wednesday after the findings were released, reports SBS News.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.