Gays and lesbians are far more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal hate crime statistics released Monday by Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC’s Intelligence Report, released today to coincide with the scheduled release of the FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2009, provides analysis of 14 years of hate crime data found that homosexuals, or those perceived to be gay, are more than twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime as Jews or blacks; more than four times as likely as Muslims; and 14 times as likely as Latinos.
The findings are based on FBI hate crime statistics from 1995 to 2008, the period for which there is complete data. The basic pattern also holds true in individual years.
The report also explores how the hard-core anti-gay movement in America is becoming more extreme in the face of gay rights advances.
“As Americans become more accepting of homosexuals, the most extreme elements of the anti-gay movement are digging in their heels and continuing to defame gays and lesbians with falsehoods that grow more incendiary by the day,” said Mark Potok, editor of SLPC’s Intelligence Report.
“The leaders of this movement may deny it, but it seems clear that their demonization of homosexuals plays a role in fomenting the violence, hatred and bullying we’re seeing,” Potok said.
Eighteen anti-gay groups are profiled in the Winter 2010 issue, which also contains an article debunking 10 key claims spread by the anti-gay movement to demonize homosexuals. These claims – ranging from the myth that homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals to the utterly bizarre claim that gays helped orchestrate the Holocaust – are examined in detail.
The Intelligence Report also profiles 18 anti-gay groups whose influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the “facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations, according to the SPLC.
- Abiding Truth Ministries — its founder, Scott Lively, is responsible for a book, widely cited by gay-bashers, accusing homosexuals of running the Nazi Party.
- American Family Association — specializes in “combating the homosexual agenda.” Bryan Fischer, the group’s director of analysis for government and policy, has proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior and has advocated forcing gays into “reparative” therapy.
- Americans for Truth About Homosexuality — compares the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.” Its website carries essays describing homosexuality as a “lethal behavior addiction,” a “dangerous” practice that is “neither normal nor benign.”
- Family Research Council — headed by former Louisiana State Rep. Tony Perkins, the FRC has been a font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history. Earlier this year, board member Peter Sprigg said he believes that “gay behavior” should be criminalized, and that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults.
- Faithful Word Baptist Church — its leader, Steven Anderson, said “The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers but not for homosexuals.” He has described gays as “sodomites” who “recruit through rape” and “recruit through molestation.”
The remaining 8 groups on the hate list: American Vision, the Chalcedon Foundation, the Dove World Outreach Center, the Family Research Institute, Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, the Illinois Family Institute, MassResistance, and the Traditional Values Coalition.
The remaining 5 groups make up the balance of the 18 anti-gay organizations identified by the SPLC: the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage.
The complete SPLC Intelligence Report is here — it’s a fascinating read.