Prejudice over a victim’s sexual orientation was the second largest motivator in hate crimes carried out across the United States in 2012 according to new figures released by the FBI this week.
19.6% of victims were singled out over their sexuality, compared to 48.3% over race, 19% over their religion, 11.5% over their nationality and 1.6% over their disability – in most cases a mental disability.
Of the hate crimes motivated by prejudice against a person’s sexual orientation, 54.6% were over a victim being a gay male, 28% were as a result of general prejudice against same-sex attracted people, 12.3% were because the victim was a lesbian and 3.1% because a victim was bisexual.
2% of victims were attacked because of an anti-heterosexual bias.
In total there were 1,318 hate crime offenses motivated by hatred of a person’s sexuality reported to the FBI in 2012.
In total 2012’s figures showed an overall 7% drop in hate crimes across the US, mostly in the race category, but crimes of prejudice against people based on their sexuality remained largely unchanged compared to the year before.
The FBI only began gathering data about hate crimes against people based on their gender identity this year following the passage of the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act so will begin publishing that data from next year.