Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes Incidents Soar in Minnesota, Milwaukee, and Chicago

hate_crime_usa08More concerning news about increasing violence against LGBT people:  Minnesota LGBTs suffered a 48% hike in bias-related hate crimes according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) 2008 statistics, issued on Tuesday.  This is a confirmation of the multi-year trend queer Minnesotans have recently faced.  David Hart on Tips-Q, a gay blog site, shares this information from the North Star State: “We are deeply troubled about the 2008 statistics for a number of reasons including the fact that increases in victimization in the Upper Midwest far exceed the national increase of 2%. With Minnesota’s 48% increase in 2008 and continued multi-year trend of such increases, we are concern for the safety of all GLBT Minnesotans even as we continue to work for equality,” said Rebecca Waggoner Kloek, Anti-Violence Program Director of NCAVP member organization OutFront Minnesota.  The same NCAVP report that noted a 28% national increase of hate crime violence against LGBT people in 2008 registered a jump of 64% in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a 42% upturn in Chicago, Illinois.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Domestic Violence, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Illinois, Minnesota, Social Justice Advocacy, Wisconsin | , , , , | Comments Off on Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes Incidents Soar in Minnesota, Milwaukee, and Chicago

Serial Hate Crimes Against LGBTs Up 63% in Colorado

Colorado state sealDenver – In a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs issued Tuesday, the numbers of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the Centennial State jumped 63% in one year.  Among the 2008 murders of queer folk was the notorious beating-death of 18-year-old Angie Zapata, a transgender Latina living in Greeley.  Allen Ray Andrade, a date, repeatedly bashed Zapata with a home fire extinguisher until she succumbed.  Andrade’s conviction for murder under Colorado’s Hate Crime Law was a landmark moment, demonstrating to the nation how significant hate crime enhancements can be in penalizing fatal bias-related attacks against LGBT people.  Though he used a version of the trans-panic defense to excuse his actions, arguing that Zapata had somehow deserved her death because of “deceiving” him as to her biological gender, Andrade was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.  According to the Denver Daily News, the Colorado Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (COAVP) expressed concern over the 24% spike in the number of offenders, meaning that multiple perpetrators attacked a smaller number of victims during the past year.  This indicates that certain victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes are targeted for violence that unfolds in a spectrum from verbal harassment to physical attack by more than one antagonist.  While this disturbing feature of homophobic and transphobic violence had been suspected by gay rights activists, this report in Colorado is the first to confirm their fears.  The percentage of victims also rose significantly during 2008.  While the nationwide average rise in victims of harassment, bashing, and murder was 2%, the Colorado numbers moved up a full 8%.  Added to the increases of reported violent attacks against LGBT people in Minnesota, Michigan, California, and Tennessee, the Colorado hate crimes statistics contribute to a growing sense that a full-scale national trend of increasing harm against members of the sexual minority is in the offing.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Beatings and battery, Blame the victim, Bludgeoning, California, Colorado, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Michigan, Minnesota, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Social Justice Advocacy, Tennessee, trans-panic defense, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Serial Hate Crimes Against LGBTs Up 63% in Colorado

“Remain Vigilant!” Warns Southern Poverty Law Center

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Montgomery, AL – In a letter to supporters dated June 17,  J. Richard Cohen, CEO and President of the Southern Poverty Law Center urges the entire SPLC network to “remain vigilant” in the wake of the murder of Holocaust Memorial Museum Security Guard Stephen Johns.  The SPLC carries out the most extensive program of tracking hate groups and extremist organizations of any non-governmental organization in the nation, most recently on the anti-LGBT hate monger, Scott Lively and his band of co-extremists, Watchmen on the Walls.  Two Slavic Christian fundamentalists from Sacramento, CA with ties to Lively’s group carried out a fatal attack on gay East Indian immigrant Satendar Singh during the July 4 holiday season of 2008.  Cohen’s important letter reads in part:

“In addition to the Holocaust Museum shooting, we’ve seen the murders of five police officers by extremists in recent months and the assassination of a prominent Kansas physician by an extremist tied to the anti-government militia movement.  These killers may have acted alone, but they were all influenced by the hate movement in America. What’s alarming is that this movement is now being aided and abetted by far-right pundits on cable TV and talk radio, who are fanning the flames of hate with their increasingly hysterical rhetoric targeting President Obama, the government, Latino immigrants and others who are not like them. These are the same commentators who ridiculed the recent Department of Homeland Security that predicted the very kind of violent attacks we’re now seeing.”  Cohen concludes by urging all fair-minded Americans to stand firm against hatred:  “We all need to speak out against hate — whether it’s in the national media or in our communities….  We hope the lessons from this latest tragedy won’t soon fade from our national consciousness.”

June 18, 2009 Posted by | African Americans, Alabama, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Anti-Semitism, Domestic Violence, gay men, gun violence, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacy, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Racism, religious intolerance, Social Justice Advocacy | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Remain Vigilant!” Warns Southern Poverty Law Center

   

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