The FBI has said that while hate crimes overall are declining in the USA, anti-gay hate crime are on the rise.
The FBI reports that last year there were 6,000 hate crime reported to US law enforcement agencies, a 6% decrease on the previous year’s figures. However, the number of anti-LGBT hate crime rose from 1,470 to 1,508.
Overall, just over 20% of reported hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity. The FBI says that most of the time, it is gay men who are the victims.
Nearly half of the hate crimes were racially motivated, of which 16% were against white people.
20% were religiously motivated, 63% of them against Jewish people and organisations.
“FBI statistics vastly underestimate the actual number of hate crimes committed in the United States,” Jack Levin, a hate-crime expert at Northeastern University in Boston told the LA Times.
Some experts believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are less likely to report incidents as they worry that the police will be insensitive to their sexuality.