FBI reports alarming spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes

LGBTQ+ progress flags wave in an American street.

A new FBI report has recorded a concerning rise in anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Semitic, and anti-Black hate crimes in 2022

Data released on Monday (16 October) as part of the FBI’s annual Crime in the Nation report found that race and ethnicity remain the top motivator for hate crimes, at 56 per cent, followed by religion and sexual orientation.

The Crime in the Nation report, which analyses over 11 million criminal offences committed in the US from over 15,000 agencies, reported that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have seen a sharp spike from 2021 to 2022.

In total, it found that over 11,634 hate crime incidents were reported last year. That’s a jump from 2021’s 10,840 reported hate crimes.

LGBTQ+ Pride flag
The FBI has reported a spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime. (Getty Images)

Hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people accounted for 1,947 reported incidents in 2022, jumping from the previous year’s 1,711.

The FBI also recorded hate crime spikes against Jewish people, African Americans, Muslim Americans, and Hispanic people in 2022.

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A number of advocacy groups have voiced their concern over this increase in targetted crimes, calling on the government to do more to protect minority groups. 

The president of the Human Rights Campaign Kelley Robinson described the spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes as “alarming”, but “not unexpected.”

She said in a statement: “The rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community is both shocking and heartbreaking, yet sadly, not unexpected. 

A person holds up a rainbow LGBTQ+ Pride flag
Hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people accounted for 1,947 reported incidents in 2022. (Getty Images)

“The constant stream of hostile rhetoric from fringe anti-equality figures, alongside the relentless passage of discriminatory bills, particularly those targeting transgender individuals, in state legislatures, created an environment where it was sadly foreseeable that individuals with violent tendencies might respond to this rhetoric. 

“The FBI’s data serves as another alarming indicator of the state of emergency our community finds itself in.” 

Robinson also noted that the FBI’s research was incomplete – a point that the bureau admitted to, revealing that it had only managed to cover approximately 93.5 per cent of the national population in its Crime in the Nation report.

“If we’re going to bring a stop to that violence, we need a full accounting of just how many hate crimes are taking place – and that requires every jurisdiction stepping up,” said Robinson.

US President Joe Biden also commented on the alarming rise. 

LGBTQ+ pride flag
US President Joe Biden has also commented on the alarming rise.  (Getty)

A statement from the White House on Monday read: “Antisemitic hate crimes rose 25 per cent from 2021 to 2022, and antisemitism accounted for over half of all reported religion-based hate crimes. Anti-LGBTQI+ hate crimes rose 16 per cent, and Muslim Americans and African Americans continue to be overrepresented among victims.

“The data is a reminder that hate never goes away, it only hides. Any hate crime is a stain on the soul of America.”

This spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes coincides with a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, over 550 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in 43 states this year alone, more than doubling the previous year’s numbers which were, at the time, the worst on record.

In June, the civil rights organisation saw no option but to declare a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans for the first time ever, as a result of the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and violence.