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Almost 1 in 5 Hate Crimes Targeted LGBTQ People in 2018

hate crimes

Hate crimes against LGBTQ people are once again on the rise — although the total number has dipped for the first time in years.

New findings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that of the 7,120 reported hate crimes in 2018, 16.7 percent were motivated by sexual orientation and 2.2 percent by gender identity.

In 2017, crimes based on sexual orientation accounted for 15.9 percent of the total, and crimes based on gender identity for 1.7 percent. This makes the total increase of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes about one percentage point.

The numbers were detailed in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report released Tuesday and were compiled from more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies. The report counted 8,646 victims in 2018.

While anti-LGBTQ hate is on the rise, the overall number of hate crimes actually decreased slightly — the first time the total has gone done in four years, reports the Associated Press. There were 7,036 single-bias hate crimes in 2018 and 7,106 in 2017.

The majority of this year's hate crimes were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias (59.6 percent). Religion accounted for 18.7 percent, disability for 2.1 percent, and gender for 0.7 percent.

The findings were less dramatic than last year's. The 2017 report showed a whopping 17 percent spike in all hate crimes and a 37 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents. An increase in hate-crimes reporting may have factored into those figures.

The incidents reported in 2018 include crimes against individuals, such as assault or intimidation, and against property, such as robbery or arson. Some of the incidents involved more than one type of offense. In the report, 24 killings and 22 rapes were classified as hate crimes.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said the many anti-LGBTQ actions of the Trump administration have given some Americans "a permission slip ... to act on their worst instincts and to target others."

“This report should sound an alarm that we all must do better to create a country where marginalized communities are safe and protected against hate violence," Ellis said in a statement. "Violent hate crimes against LGBTQ people are a pervasive issue that needs to be addressed by politicians and law enforcement in a bipartisan and urgent way."

A GLAAD report released earlier this year showed that LGBTQ acceptance is declining among younger Americans. The "Accelerating Acceptance" survey of nearly 2,000 people, conducted by the Harris Poll, found that fewer than half of non-LGBTQ Americans ages 18 to 34 are comfortable with LGBTQ people and issues pertaining to them. The proportion dropped from 53 percent last year to 45 percent this year.

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