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A Hate Crime Analysis

Rob Tisinai, who lives in southern California, has been posting a series of videos on YouTube covering the lies being spread about the LGBT community by the Religulous Reich; he also has a blog covering the same kind of area. I strongly recommend his videos in particular. In his own words:

I hope this blog will become an intellectual ammunition depot, a treasury of inspiration, facts, arguments, and rebuttals – material you can share in conversations with friends, family, colleagues, and any random person who wants to talk about marriage equality.

Last weekend I saw Rob Tisinai’s video from a few months back on the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (who he mistakenly called the Christian Anti-Defamation League during the video):

The video reminded me of a BTB blog entry from a few months ago; I left a comment listing some figures about hate crimes against Christians and LGBs, based on information given in the main text of Jim Burroway’s entry. As it happens at the time I made the mistake of counting all religiously motivated hate crimes as anti-Christian hate crimes – so my figures were a little out since over 2/3 of all religiously-motivated hate crimes were against Jews.

After seeing Rob Tisinai’s video I downloaded the FBI information that Jim Burroway had used, got some population data on religious groups and LGBs from CNN and the CIA, and set to work figuring out the real difference in hate crime rates between Christians and LGBs. The Religulous Reich has seemingly got into the habit of crying “oppression” whenever LGBTs demand equal & civil rights, and I felt it was important for us to have some hard figures to use as ammunition to counter the fundie falsehoods.

The results (and a few notes on methodology) are blow the fold.I used the official FBI hate crimes data for 2007 and got religious population data from the CIA. Unfortunately I couldn’t find CIA data for LGB population, however I did know that CNN had done an exit poll during last year’s elections which gave LGBs as 4% of the electorate, so I used this figure as it’s about as official as I can find. Unfortunately the FBI data included the data for non-Catholic- and non-Protestant groups, such as LDS, Orthodox and Watchtower, in the “Other Religion” category, so I was limited to using the data for anti-Catholic and anti-Protestant hate crimes only. I won’t give you all the figures as it would be too long-winded – they were worked out using a spreadsheet which generated several hundred separate figures. However here are some of the more significant ones:

In 2007 there were 124 hate crimes against Catholics and Protestants, and 1433 against LGBs, so there were over 11 times more hate crimes against LGBs than against Catholics and Protestants. However this doesn’t account for the differences in population size.

There are 230 million Protestants and Catholics in the US, so there were 0.54 hate crimes per million. There are 12.25 million LGBs in the US, so around 117 hate crimes per million. Combine these two figures, and there were 217 times more hate crimes per million against LGBs than against Protestants and Catholics.

I then split the data into two main groups based on the three groupings given by the FBI: violent (offences against persons – murder, rape, assault, intimidation, etc.) and non-violent (offences against property & society – robbery, theft, arson, vandalism etc.). 71% of all hate crimes against LGBs were violent hate crimes, while 18.5% of all hate crimes against Catholics and Protestants were violent. So of those who were victims of hate crimes, LGB victims were 3.5 times more likely to suffer from a violent hate crime than Catholic or Protestant victims. As a result there were 835 times more violent hate crimes per million against LGBs than against Protestants and Catholics.

The most common three hate crimes against Protestants and Catholics were vandalism (64%) theft (11%) and simple assault (10%). The most common four hate crimes against LGBs were simple assault (31%) intimidation (23%) vandalism (22%) and aggravated assault (17%). There were 1137 times as many aggravated assaults per million against LGBs than Protestants and Catholics.

Over half of all murders the FBI listed were against LGBs (five out of nine) and there were no religiously-motivated murders; the other four were all motivated by race & ethnicity.

The only problem with these figures is that I know that I don’t have complete data. The FBI only has data on LGB hate crimes for those US states with statutes protecting LGBs, which is less than half, and those states without such protections are more likely to be homophobic and so are the ones where hate crimes are most likely to occur. I think the real figures were far higher.

That said, since I have used the most reliable information available – much of it official federal government data – I do not think these figures can easily be dismissed as false or misleading. The only figure that could possibly be debated is the percentage of the US population that is LGB, and even if the British figure (6%) was used the change wouldn’t be enough to make the threat hate-crimes pose to Christians anything like comparable to the threat hate crimes pose to LGBs.

Hopefully this will prove useful to you all!

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