LGBT Americans target of violent hate crimes more than any other group
The gunman who dropped the hammer at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning might have targeted the place because he harbored anti-LGBT views, his father explained to NBC News. Mir Seddique discussed that his son portrayed anger after observing a pair of men kissing in Miami. “This had nothing to do with religion,” Seddique stated.
Authorities never have called the shooting a hate crime. But it might be the deadliest attack against the LGBT community in U.S. history. As President Barack Obama mentioned on Sunday, it is also the country’s ruthless mass shooting to date.
It’s the irony of LGBT Americans’ growing visibility: With the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide last June and a national concentration on transgender rights this spring, the LGBT community has become easier to focus on.
When all this started did they not consider the ramifications of all the attention that their actions have caused?
More than 250,000 Americans above age 12 were victims of hate crimes from 2007 to 2011, based on a 2013 study from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Available numbers demonstrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-affected folks are disproportionately the targets of hate crimes, which includes those where race, national origin or religion might also be a motivating factor. But only a third of all hate crimes are ever revealed to law enforcement.
In addition, many hate crimes that are documented to law enforcement can not end up in the FBI’s tally. A recent Associated Press investigation discovered that thousands of law enforcement agencies have failed to document hate crimes to the FBI. More than 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments, or 17% of all agencies, have not published a single hate crime report in the past half a dozen years, as outlined by the AP.
“We’re pretty good about gang activity and murders, but the problem of hate crimes doesn’t seem to exist in the minds of anybody,” Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, stated in a telephone interview. “This is a bit of a crisis situation.”
More than 8 million folks, or 3.5% of the U.S. population, candidly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in 2011, based on a study by the Williams Institute, a public policy organization that does research on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Orlando shooting happened during the month of Pride, when the LGBT community attempts to create awareness around discrimination, violence, politics and health-related problems. Aside from Sunday’s shooting, police in Los Angeles arrested a man with guns and ammunition in his car who was purportedly preparing to show up at the city’s Pride parade, and police in Washington, D.C. stepped up security at the celebrations there.
“While the full facts are still unknown, unfortunately it is not surprising that the LGBT community was targeted,” the SPLC stated in a statement released Sunday. “This community has long been vilified by those opposed to LGBT rights and is too often the target of violent hate crimes.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s Florida branch mentioned the Orlando LGBT community should understand that it isn’t being forgotten in the commotion to determine Mateen’s true motivations. “As we have just marked the beginning of Pride month, together as a society we stand resolute that hate shall not diminish the pride of tolerance, the pride of acceptance, and the pride of unity,” Hava Holzhauer, the ADL’s Florida regional director, stated in a statement Sunday.
Mateen, 29, was licensed to work in professional security. The FBI discovered that it had monitored Mateen for a couple of years, after he depicted sympathy for Islamic State militants. Before Sunday’s shooting, he pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call to authorities, one U.S. law enforcement official stated. Militants operating in the Middle East have been well-known to target, torture and murder folks who they think are gay.
In a statement provided at the White House on Sunday, Obama pointed out that federal authorities were investigating Mateen’s actions as a terror attack. The president also called it a “heartbreaking day” for LGBT folks.
“The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live,” Obama stated. “The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub. It’s a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.”
Feel free to leave a comment. We would like to know what you think.