The number of hate crime incidents targeting gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the U.S. decreased slightly from 17.0 percent of the total number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI in 2018 to 16.7 percent of the total number reported in 2019, according to the FBI’s annual Hate Crimes Statistics Report released Nov. 16.
The report shows that the number of hate crime incidents targeting victims because of their gender identity, listed as either transgender or gender nonconforming, increased slightly from 2.4 percent in 2018 to 2.7 percent in 2019.
According to the report, the total number of hate crimes reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies throughout the country also decreased slightly from 7,120 in 2018 to 7,103 in 2019.
Similar to 2018, the 2019 report shows that hate crimes targeting victims because of their race, ethnicity or ancestry accounted for 57.6 percent of the total number of hate crime incidents – by far the largest victim category.
The 2019 report shows that victims targeted for hate crimes because of their religion were the second-highest victim category at 20.1 percent. Victims targeted for their sexual orientation – listed as gay, lesbian or bisexual – comprise the third largest victim category at 16.7 percent, the report shows.
The other victim categories in order of the percentage of incidents against them are gender identity, which includes transgender and gender-nonconforming people, at 2.7 percent; people with disabilities, 2.0 percent; and victims targeted solely for their gender, at 0.9 percent.
The FBI report says there were a total of 1,195 hate crime incidents targeting victims because of their sexual orientation. Out of that figure, 746 are listed as anti-gay male, 115 as anti-lesbian, 17 listed as anti-heterosexual and 26 listed as anti-bisexual.
The report says there were 198 hate crime incidents reported by law enforcement agencies targeting victims for their gender identity. Out of that number, 151 are listed as anti-transgender and 47 are listed as anti-gender non-conforming.
The report says that in 2019, 15,588 law enforcement agencies participated in the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics program. Of these agencies, the report says, 2,172 reported 7,314 hate crimes incidents involving 8,559 offenses.
It says the law enforcement agencies reported 7,103 “single-bias incidents” that involved 8,302 offenses, 8,552 victims and 6,268 known offenders. In this separate category of single-bias incidents, the report shows that sexual orientation bias comprised 16.8 percent of the single-bias incidents and gender identity bias made up 2.8 percent of the single-bias incidents. Each of those two categories had a tenth of a percent higher figure than in the category of regular incidents, which could include more than one type of bias.
In a statement responding to the 2019 FBI report the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, said the number of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes remains unacceptably high.
“Yet another year with alarming levels of bias-motivated crimes underscores just how urgent it is to address this hate crimes epidemic,” said HRC President Alphonso David in the statement. “This year, we saw a tragic new record of fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people in this country, particularly against Black and brown transgender women,” David said.
“Because reporting hate crimes to the FBI is not mandatory, these alarming statistics likely represent only a fraction of such violence,” he said. “The number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crimes data decreased by 451 from 2018 to 2019.”
In a section of the report that breaks down the number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI in 2019 by all 50 states and D.C., the report shows that Maryland law enforcement agencies reported only 19 hate crime incidents for the entire state. Seven of the incidents targeted the victim because of their race/ethnicity/ancestry, four were targeted for their religion, seven for their sexual orientation, one for disability and none for either their gender or gender identity, according to the FBI report.
The report’s data for Maryland shows that no hate crimes were reported in 2019 for the city of Baltimore and that the Baltimore Police Department did not participate in the submission of data.
However, a separate State of Maryland 2019 Hate Bias Report prepared by the Maryland Department of State Police, for which reporting of hate crimes is mandatory under Maryland law, a total of 408 hate crime incidents were reported in 2019 for the state of Maryland. Of that total, 84 were listed hate crimes targeting victims because of their sexual orientation and nine were for hate crimes targeting someone for their gender identity, the Maryland report shows.
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department didn’t respond to a message from the Washington Blade asking why the department did not submit hate crimes data for the FBI report.
The FBI report shows that D.C. police and other D.C. law enforcement agencies reported a total of 222 hate crime incidents in D.C. in 2019, with 65 targeting victims because of their sexual orientation and 27 targeting victims for their gender identity.
The report says law enforcement agencies in Virginia reported a total of 163 hate crime incidents in Virginia in 2019, with 27 targeting victims for their sexual orientation and three targeting victims for their gender identity.
The FBI report shows that a total of 22 hate crime incidents were reported in 2019 by Delaware law enforcement agencies, with seven said to have targeted victims because of their sexual orientation and one for the victim’s gender identity.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.