LGBTQIA Human Rights Coalition

 

 

Hate Crimes Must Be Reported:

Hate Crime National Hotline 1-206-350-HATE
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE
Hate Crimes Hotline at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 1-800-552-6843


If you have been victimized in a hate crime or hate incident, here are some suggestions for things you should immediately do:

* In an emergency, dial 911, 0, or the emergency number in your area.
* Get medical attention for any injuries.
* Call the police as soon after the incident as possible. You may be eligible for financial compensation for damages.
* Get the responding officer's name and badge number.
* Write down all details of the crime as quickly as possible after the reporting.
* If you saw the perpetrator(s), try to remember gender, age, height, race, weight, build, clothes and other distinguishing characteristics. If anything was said, such as anti-gay epithets or threats, make a mental note about them.
* Carefully preserve any evidence, such as notes, clothing, graffiti, tape recordings, fingerprints, etc. Take photographs of any injuries and of the location where the incident occurred.
* If you want the crime to be reported as a hate/bias crime, tell the officer to note that on the report.
* Make sure the officer files an incident report form and assigns a case number.
* If the police do not assist you properly, file a complaint
*If a police report is not taken at the time of your report, go to the police station and ask for one. Always get your own copy.

 

General Safety Tips


Violence and harassment against the LGBT community is real. Learn to recognize potential problems and warning signs in your daily routine. Not every attack can be prevented. There are things you can do reduce your risk. Your primary consideration should be your personal survival.

Here are a few safety tips that may help:

STAY ALERT.

Awareness is your best self-defense; know what is happening around you. Be especially careful if you are alone or drunk. You must avoid being a victim by staying alert. Watch where you are going and what is going on around you. The same principles of defensive driving should be used when walking or going about your daily activities: Look for potential problems, and be prepared to react to them.


TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

Don't assume a false sense of security because you are either surrounded by people or in a remote area. If you think something is wrong, remove yourself from the situation. Trust your gut -- if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

WHEN WALKING, PLAN THE SAFEST AND MOST DIRECT ROUTE.

Evaluate and be aware of your surroundings. Use well-lit, busy streets. Keep a safe distance between you and others, and always have an out (somewhere you can turn to run if you feel threatened.) Walk with friends or a group. When you are out late at night, have a friend accompany you - don't go alone. Let someone know where you will be going and when you will return. Avoid shortcuts, dark alleys, deserted streets and wooded areas. If you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and go directly to a place where there are other people.

PROJECT CONFIDENCE.

Walk as if you know where you're going. Stand tall. Walk in a confident manner, and hold your head up. Keep your hands free and keep them chest high in crowds.


CARRY A WHISTLE.

If you feel threatened, blow your whistle, bang garbage cans, honk your horn, or shout "fire!" to attract attention. Only wear things around your neck that will break free if some one grabs them on the run.


HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED READY.

Hold your keys when going to and from your car, home and business. This will save time and give you some security in having protection. Any device you carry for protection may be used AGAINST you. Select such security devices carefully. Don't carry more money than you will need, but always have emergency change for a phone call.


IF YOU FEEL THREATENED.

Cross the street, change direction, run to a place where there are other people, or walk closer to traffic. Step out in the street on the other side of parked cars. Be alert when some one moves into your space, that three foot radius around you.


IF YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED IN A CAR, TURN AROUND AND WALK QUICKLY IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

Get the license plate number and a description, if possible. Give this to the police.


IF YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED ON FOOT, TURN AROUND TO LET THE PERSON KNOW THAT YOU HAVE SEEN THEM.

Immediately cross the street or run toward a place where a number of people will be.


IF YOU DECIDE TO BRING SOMEONE HOME...

Introduce her or him to a friend, acquaintance or bartender so that someone knows who you left with.


WHEN DRIVING A FRIEND HOME, WAIT FOR A SIGNAL THAT THE FRIEND IS IN THE HOME AND SAFE BEFORE DRIVING AWAY.

Develop a signal that involves more than simply turning a light on. A more complex signal, like turning the light on and off three times, will be distinct and make potential danger clear.


IF A STRANGER IS AT YOUR DOOR, DO NOT GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU ARE HOME ALONE.

Shout over your shoulder, or indicate in some way, that there is another person present.


DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO STRANGERS WITHOUT VERIFYING THEIR IDENTITY.

Make strangers show you a picture ID and make police officers show you formal identification.


DO NOT GIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE OR TO "WRONG NUMBER" CALLERS.

Instruct children, visitors, and/or extended family members to do the same.

DO NOT GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION OVER THE INTERNET.


REPORT INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE OR HARASSMENT.

If you don't report what happens, you can't get help to deal with it. Contact your local police.


Hate Crime Laws In Your State:


Alabama Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Alaska Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Arizona Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Arkansas Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


California Hate Crimes Law

California hate crimes law addresses violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Colorado Hate Crimes Law

Colorado law and the state constitution both purport to ban recognition of marriages between same-sex couples. There are no other forms of relationship recognition for same-sex couples in state law or policies.


Connecticut Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


D.C. Hate Crimes Law

District law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Delaware Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Florida Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Georgia Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Hawaii Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation


Idaho Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Illinois Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Indiana Hate Crimes Law

This state has no hate crimes law.


Iowa Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Kansas Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Kentucky Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity


Louisiana Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Maine Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Maryland Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Massachusetts Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Michigan Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Minnesota Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Mississippi Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity but not sexual orientation.


Missouri Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Montana Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Nebraska Hate Crimes Law

Nebraska hate crimes law explicitly addresses sexual orientation.


Nevada Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


New Hampshire Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


New Jersey Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


New Mexico Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


New York Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


North Carolina Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


North Dakota Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Ohio Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Oklahoma Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Oregon Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Pennsylvania Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Rhode Island Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


South Carolina Hate Crimes Law

This state has no hate crimes law.


South Dakota Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Tennessee Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Texas Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Utah Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Vermont Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Virginia Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Washington Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


West Virginia Hate Crimes Law

State law does not address hate crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.


Wisconsin Hate Crimes Law

State law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.


Wyoming Hate Crimes Law

This state has no hate crimes law.




 

 

 

HATE CRIMES FACTS AND FIGURES

2007 National Hate Violence Report

View 2007 Hate Violence Report .PDF File

 

2006 FBI National Hate Violence Report

View 2006 FBI Hate Violence Report .PDF File

 

 


Equality from State to State: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Americans and State Legislation

Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 2002-2007, 1/25/2008

 

Maps of State Laws & Policies

The Human Rights Campaign has developed the following maps that provide a snapshot of the status of the laws and policies on issues that affect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

 

 

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act / Matthew Shepard Act

H.R. 1592 / S. 1105
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act / Matthew Shepard Act gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence by providing the department with jurisdiction over crimes of violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The LLEHCPA / Matthew Shepard Act provides the Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias. The LLEHCPA also makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers or to assist in state and local investigations and prosecutions of bias-motivated crimes.

View the LLEHCPA / Matthew Shepard Act Coalition Endorsement list.

Bias Motivated Violent Crime Affects an Entire Community

A hate crime occurs when the perpetrator of the crime intentionally selects the victim because of who the victim is. While violent hate crimes are a widespread and serious problem in our nation, it is not the frequency or number of violent hate crimes alone, that distinguish these acts of violence from other types of crime. A random act of violence resulting in injury or even death is a tragic event that devastates the lives of the victim and their family, but the intentional selection and beating or murder of an individual because of who they are terrorizes an entire community and sometimes the nation. For example, a 2006 Harris Interactive poll found that 64 percent of gays and lesbians are concerned about being the victim of a bias-motivated crime.

Bias Motivated Violent Crime is a Pervasive Community Problem

Evidence indicates that hate crimes are underreported; however, statistics show that since 1991 over 100,000 hate crime offenses have been reported to the FBI, with 7,722 reported in 2006, the FBI’s most recent reporting period.

Violent crimes based on race-related bias were by far the most common, representing 51.8 percent of all offenses for 2006. Violent crimes based on religion represented 18.9 percent and ethnicity/national origin, 12.7 percent. Violent crimes based on sexual orientation constituted 15.5 percent of all hate crimes in 2006, with 1,195 reported for the year. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a non-profit organization that tracks bias incidents against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, reported 1,393 incidents for 2006 from only 13 jurisdictions, compared to the 2,105 agencies reporting to the FBI in 2006.

The LLEHCPA Gives Local Law Enforcement the Tools to Combat Violent Bias Motivated Crime

The importance of the LLEHCPA is that it provides a backstop to state and local law enforcement by allowing a federal prosecution if – and only if – it is necessary to achieve an effective, just result, and to permit federal authorities to assist in investigations. Federal support, in the form of grants for training or through direct assistance will ensure all bias motivated violence is adequately investigated and prosecuted, while at the same time ensuring state and local authorities are not overburdened.


Support for this Legislation is Overwhelming

The bill is endorsed by notable individuals and over 280 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations, including: President George H.W. Bush’s Attorney General Dick Thornburgh; National Sheriffs’ Association; International Association of Chiefs of Police; U.S. Conference of Mayors; Presbyterian Church; Episcopal Church; and the Parent’s Network on Disabilities. Polls have consistently demonstrated broad public support for hate crimes legislation. A 2007 Hart Research poll showed large majorities of every major subgroup of the electorate — including such traditionally conservative groups as Republican men (56 percent) and evangelical Christians (63 percent) — expressed support for strengthening hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Support also crosses racial lines — with three in four whites (74 percent), African-Americans (74 percent) and Latino/as (72 percent) supporting the Act.

Legislative Status of the LLEHCPA

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation to combat bias-motivated violence in 2007. On May 3, 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1592 by a vote of 237-180, with 25 Republicans voting yes.

The Senate version, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 1105), was introduced on April 12, 2007, by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) with 40 bipartisan co-sponsors. Senator Kennedy and Senator Smith filed the Matthew Shepard Act as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1585). On September 27, 2007, the Senate voted 60-39 for cloture which closed debate on the amendment. The Matthew Shepard Act was adopted by voice vote and added to the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization bill.

The hate crimes provision was not included in the final version of the DoD bill. The DoD bill fell victim to House opponents of hate crimes as well as unrelated concerns regarding Iraq-related provisions of the bill. The hate crimes veto threat issued by the White House and organized opposition by House Republican Leadership cost significant numbers of votes on the right. Iraq-related provisions that many progressive Democrats opposed cost votes on the left. Moderate Democrats, many of whom voted for the hate crimes bill in May, did not want to test the President’s veto threat and risk a delay in increased pay for military personnel. All of these factors resulted in insufficient votes to secure passage of the bill with the hate crimes provision.

 

 

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act

H.R. 1246

The U.S. Military: Where It's Illegal for Gay People to Be Honest

"Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass" (DADT) – the current policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S Armed Forces – is the only law in the country that forces people to be dishonest about their personal lives or be fired or possibly imprisoned. This discriminatory policy hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk. As of January 2008, more than 12,000 Americans have been dismissed under DADT. This does not include the many who voluntarily decided to leave the military due to DADT.

In January 2007, General John M. Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former supporter of DADT, the lift of the ban is inevitable. "When that day comes, gay men and lesbians will no longer have to conceal who they are, and the military will no longer need to sacrifice those whose service it cannot afford to lose."

DADT Hurts the Military and the Nation

* Nearly 800 specialists with critical skills have been fired from the U.S. Military under DADT including 323 linguists, more than 55 of whom specialized in Arabic (Government Accountability Office (GAO) report).
* At least 65,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans are already protecting our homeland. (Urban Institute report). More than 10,000 have been discharged under DADT since the policy was implemented in 1993.
* American taxpayers have paid between $250 million and $1.2 billion to investigate, eliminate, and replace qualified, patriotic service members who want to serve their country but can’t because expressing their sexual orientation violates DADT (GAO report). That money could be better spent on at least a dozen Blackhawk helicopters, armored plates for tanks and Humvees, or Kevlar body armor for troops.
* U.S. military forces need every American who is willing to serve due to the major overseas deployments required by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Americans Support Allowing Gays and Lesbians to Serve Openly

A large majority of Americans support the right of service members to serve openly and honestly, and the majority of service members are comfortable serving alongside gay and lesbian troops.

* 79% of Americans consistently support allowing gays to serve openly (CNN May 2007 and Boston Globe May 2005 surveys). In 2003, FOX News reported 64 percent support, and the Gallup organization 79 percent, on a similar question.
* Nearly 3 in 4 troops (73%) say they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians (Zogby International & the Michael D. Palm Center 2006 study).
* 1 in 4 U.S. troops who served in Afghanistan or Iraq knows a member of their unit who is gay. More than 55% of the troops who know a gay colleague said the presence of gays or lesbians in their unit is well known by others (Zogby International). The DADT policy serves no purpose as troops already know and are comfortable serving alongside gays and lesbians.

Open and Honest Service by Gays and Lesbians Works

* All published Pentagon studies, including the 1993 Rand Report, conclude that there should be no special restrictions on service by gay personnel.
* 24 other nations, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Israel, already allow open service by gays and lesbians, and none of the 24 report morale or recruitment problems. 9 nations allowing open service have fought alongside American troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition, 12 nations allowing open service fought alongside U.S. troops in Operation Enduring Freedom.
* 23 of the 26 NATO nations allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and proudly. The United States, Turkey, and Portugal are the only NATO nations that forbid gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed services.
* Federal CIA, FBI, DIA and Secret Service agents all serve proudly as openly gay and lesbian personnel fighting the war on terrorism.

Countless gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans have and will continue to serve in the U.S. military with distinction. The only question is whether they will have to lie about their sexual orientation to do so. Since enactment of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy, numerous gay and lesbian troops have served openly while pending discharge with no affect on unit performance, readiness, cohesion or morale. Moreover, U.S. military personnel are already serving side-by-side with openly gay service members – with no identifiable negative effects – in and from countries throughout the world. Former Defense Secretary, William Cohen agrees - the ban is discriminatory and, "we're hearing from within the military what we're hearing from within society, that we're becoming a much more open, tolerant society for diverse opinions and orientation."


What is the Current Status of the Bill?

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (MREA) remedies this discriminatory and unworkable policy and replaces DADT with a policy of non-discrimination. Rep. Martin Meehan (D-MA) reintroduced the bill (H.R. 1246) in the 110th Congress in February 2007. Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) took over as the lead sponsor of MREA following Rep. Meehan’s retirement. As of July 2008, the bill had 143 House cosponsors.

 

 

 

Employment Non-Discrimination Act

H.R. 2015, H.R. 3685
The Problem

Qualified, hardworking Americans are denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise discriminated against for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance and abilities. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, whether such orientation is real or perceived, effectively denies qualified individuals equality and opportunity in the workplace. Those who experience this form of discrimination have no recourse under current federal law or under the Constitution as it has been interpreted by the courts.

Employment discrimination strikes at a fundamental American value – the right of each individual to do his or her job and contribute to society without facing unfair discrimination. Fairness in the workplace has been recognized as a fundamental right protected under federal law. Currently, federal law provides basic legal protection against employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin or disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity and gender expression.
What is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 2015?

H.R. 2015 is a federal bill that would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote employees simply based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It would reinforce the principle that employment decisions should be based upon a person’s qualifications and job performance.

What is H.R. 3685?

Unlike H.R. 2015, H.R. 3685 would only bar discrimination based on sexual orientation, not gender identity.
What ENDA Does

* Extends federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity
* Prohibits public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation
* Provides for the same procedures, and similar, but somewhat more limited, remedies as are permitted under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act
* Applies to Congress and the federal government, as well as employees of state and local governments

What ENDA Does Not Do

* Cover businesses with fewer than 15 employees
* Apply to religious organizations
* Apply to the uniformed members of the armed forces (the bill doesn’t affect the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy)
* Allow for quotas or preferential treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity
* Allow a "disparate impact" claim similar to the one available under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, an employer is not required to justify a neutral practice that may have a statistically disparate impact on individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
* Allow the imposition of affirmative action for a violation of ENDA
* Allow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect statistics on sexual orientation or gender identity or compel employers to collect such statistics.
* Apply retroactively

What about State Laws?

In 31 states, it is legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation. In 39 states, it is legal to do so based on gender identity.

* Laws in your state

What about Corporate America?

Partly due to HRC’s efforts, non-discrimination policies covering gender identity continue to rise. For example, as of November 2007, over thirty percent of Fortune 500 companies include transgender people in their policies. This is more then 10 times the number that had such policies in 2001, when eight Fortune 500 companies had the policy. In addition, exactly 49 of the Fortune 50 companies include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. Exxon Mobil Corp. is the only company in the Fortune 50 that does not. In fact, nearly 90 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies as of November 2007.
What is the Current Status of the Bill?

Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; and Christopher Shays, R-Conn., introduced H.R. 2015, in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 24, 2007. On September 5, 2007, the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing on H.R. 2015. Following that hearing, Rep. Frank and the House leadership determined that, unfortunately, there was insufficient support to pass a transgender-inclusive version of ENDA. Rep. Frank subsequently introduced a version of ENDA, H.R. 3685, that extends protections based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity. On October 18, 2007, the full Committee on Education and Labor voted, 27-21, to send H.R. 3685 to the full House for a vote. On November 7, 2007, the House passed H.R. 3685 by a vote of 235-184, the first time a version of ENDA has passed either chamber of Congress.