Hate crimes against gays increased in 2007, up 6% from 2006 even though the overall number of hate crimes dropped slightly, the FBI reported Monday. There were 7,624 hate crimes reported in 2007, down 1% from 2006. Crimes based on sexual orientation — 1,265 in 2007 — have been rising since 2005. A hate crime is one motivated by bias against a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation or other status. “Until we make laws that make it clear these attacks are not OK, the nation will continue to be scarred,” says Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 19 states, hate crime laws don’t cover sexual orientation.
Is it naive to hope that anti-gay crimes are up because of the widening of hate crimes statutes?