Reported hate crimes against gays increased in 2007, up 6 percent from 2006 even though the overall number of reported hate crimes dropped slightly, says an FBI compilation quoted by USA Today. There were 7,624 hate crimes reported in 2007, down 1 percent from 2006. Crimes based on sexual orientation – 1,265 in 2007 – have been rising since 2005. “Until we make laws that make it clear these attacks are not OK, the nation will continue to be scarred,” says Neil Giuliano of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 19 states, hate crime laws don’t cover sexual orientation.
Among other items in the report: Race-related incidents, 51 percent of reported hate crimes, fell 3 percent; incidents against Latinos increased for the fourth year, from 426 in 2003 to 595; bias incidents against Asians increased by 4 percent from 181 to 188; crimes against Muslims declined 26 percent to 115 incidents, considerably down from 481 in 2001. Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University, says that drop shows the effect of 9/11 waning.