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10/19/2006

Wherein we actually have to defend the frequency of homophobic ass kickings

by Jeremy Hooper

In an article in which they try and discredit the prevalence of gay-related hate crimes, Focus on the Family's CitizenLink today misrepresents findings in ways -- and this is a bold statement, considering how often and absurdly they misrepresent studies -- possibly greater than we've ever seen them do so before. They say:

Race-based incidents — at more than 50 percent — top the latest list of hate crimes compiled by the FBI, while crimes attributed to someone’s religion ranked second.

Near the bottom of the list? Hate crimes based on a victim's sexual orientation.
...
Fifty-five percent of hate crimes were committed because of racial bias, while 17 percent were on religious bias.

"And once again, sexual orientation as a category of hate crimes comes in
well behind crimes based on race and religion," said Caleb H. Price, a gender issues analyst for Focus on the Family. "The problem is, when gay activists come to the table to play their victim card — they are bluffing. The card isn’t even in their hand."

Except there's only one problem with their logic. Here, take a look at the findings in the FBI's own unedited words:

An analysis of the 7,160 single-bias incidents by bias motivation revealed that 54.7 percent were motivated by a racial bias, 17.1 percent were triggered by a religious bias, 14.2 percent were motivated by a sexual-orientation bias, and 13.2 percent of the incidents were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. Nearly 1 percent (0.7) involved bias against a disability.

Uhm, now forgive us if we've forgotten how to read numbers, but last time we checked, 14.2% (the percentage of sexual orientation-based acts) is only 2.9 points behind 17.1% (the percentage of religious-based bias)! And forgive us if we've forgotten how to speak the English language, but 14.2 doesn't seem to be "well behind" 14., as Mr. Caleb H. Price suggests.

Now loook, we feel a little ridiculous even calling FOF out on this, as hate crimes are hate crimes and we genuinely want each and every one to stop! But what this piece provides is YET ANOTHER example of the ways these "pro-family" players will so unabashedly just pull ideas out of their ass or thoroughly skew data in hopes that their readers will never perform their own analysis of the reported findings! It's actually quite ironic that Caleb Price accuses gay activist of "bluffing" and playing a card that's "not even in their hand" when his organization is once again working with a trick deck.

FBI Finds Few Sexuality-Based Hate Crimes [FOF CitizenLink]
What the FBI actually found [FBI Press Release]

**UPDATE: One of our readers raises some more good points:

Picture 1-31

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