Anti-gay motivated hate crimes increase

Tue. November 24, 2009 12:00 AM by

New statistics by the FBI show anti-gay motivated hate crimes have increased, the AP reported.

The report released Monday shows an overall 2% increase in reported hate crimes in 2008. The largest increase were those motivated by sexual orientation (11%), followed by religion (9%).

Hate motivated crimes include property damage, intimidation and physical attacks.

The report cautioned that the increase in hate crimes could be due to more agencies tracking such incidents. The number of agencies tracking hate crimes rose from 2,025 in 2007 to 2,145 last year.

Seven out of the 7,783 hate crime incidents reported to the FBI were murders.

Half of all hate crimes are motivated by race, but such incidents dropped by 1% last year, according to the FBI.

The report comes a month after President Obama signed new hate crimes legislation that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federal hate crimes. The law also authorizes the federal government to assist local authorities in investigating such incidents.

The FBI began collecting data on anti-gay motivated hate crimes in 1991. The agency said it would begin tracking crimes based on gender and gender identity (transgender) bias as a result of the new law.

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