More Hate Than Meets the Eye
Cross-posted at Bloggernista
A new study has found that almost 4 in 10 gay men and 1 in 8 lesbians and bisexuals in the U.S. have been victims of violence or property crimes because of their sexual orientation. The study was written by University of California, Davis psychology professor Gregory Herek and based a poll he conducted of a nationally representative sample of 662 self-identified gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.
Overall, 21 percent of the people in the survey reported being the victim of violence or a property crime — including physical assault, sexual assault, theft and vandalism — because of their sexual orientation. In addition, 49 percent said they had been verbally abused because of their sexual orientation, 23 percent reported being threatened with violence, 12.5 percent reported having objects thrown at them, and 11 percent reported housing or job discrimination. The total exceeds 100 percent because some individuals reported being the target of multiple attacks.
This study comes out as federal hate crimes legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity is being considered in the Senate where a majority of Democrats support the bill and the majority of Republicans oppose it. The Bush Administration has threatened to veto the bill should it pass Congress which shows yet again that the president and the GOP is out of step with the majority of Americans who support expanding hate crimes law to include LGBT people.
Homo-hating right-wing leaders are engaging in a misinformation campaign to try to derail the bill claiming that it would infringe on their right to preach homophobia from the pulpit. As Christian right leader and founder of Focus on the Family Dr. James Dobson said, “The Hate Crimes Act will be the first step to criminalize our rights as Christians to believe that some behaviors are sinful. Pastors preaching from Scripture on homosexuality could be threatened with persecution and prosecution.”
The anti-gay hordes are flooding the offices of members of the Senate with phone calls, emails and faxes beating us by a ratio of about 5-1. We cannot let them and their vicious brand of anti-gay hatred win. We must contact our senators and urge the passage of this important legislation. If you have contacted them once, do it again. The stakes in this fight are high and our opponents will use whatever tactics necessary to stop us. We cannot let them win.
Use the HRC Action Center to contact your senators here.