Sexual orientation-based hate crimes doubled since 2010

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The Tennessee Board of Investigation’s 2011 Hate Crimes report was released yesterday and shows that hate crimes based on sexual orientation almost doubled from 2010 to 2011.

According to the report, a hate crime includes any criminal offenses committed against a person, property or society that have been motivated in any degree by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or disability. A hate crime may also involve multiple offenses, victims, and offenders within one incident.

The overall percentage of the reported sexually biased hate crimes was 16.1%, or 42 out of the 261 total reported hate crimes in 2011. (In 2010, those numbers were 23 out 173, or 13.3%.)

A greater number of lesbians were hate crime victims than were gay men (23 anti-female homosexual crimes versus 16 anti-male homosexual crimes). Hate crimes of an anti-lesbian bias also showed the biggest increase from 2010, jumping from 5 reported offenses to 23.

Memphis Police Department reported the greatest number of total anti-gay and -lesbian hate crimes that included forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault and intimidation. Gallatin and Hendersonville Police Departments noted the lowest number of reported anti-homosexual crimes with one count of simple assault each.

To view the full 2011 Tennessee Hate Crime report, log on to www.tbi.tn.gov/tn_crime_stats/publications/2011%20Hate%20Crime.pdf.