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10/26/2009

It's just good for FRC that crimes against truth aren't tracked

by Jeremy Hooper

While trying to discredit LGBT inclusive hate crimes legislation for the one billionth and seventh time, the Family Research Council has trotted out this claim:

The FBI's statistics on hate crimes actually show a decrease in the number of hate crimes being reported. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, 2007, the FBI found that 7,624 hate crime incidents were reported. Racially motivated incidents were 50.8% of the total, followed by religiously motivated incidents at 18.4%, then ones motivated by "sexual orientation" bias at 16.6%.

In 2007, there were 90,427 forcible rapes and 16,929 murders reported. Less than one-tenth of one percent of the national crime total for those offenses consisted of "hate crimes." This does not constitute a serious national problem or warrant federal interference. Bear in mind that the Hate Crimes Reporting Act of 1990 required that the FBI interpret hate crimes more broadly to include acts of intimidation. Of the hate crime offenses reported, 28.5% of them were intimidation related, and when it came to crimes against persons, 47.4% of them were intimidation related. To use these statistics and claim that there's a hate crimes crisis is misleading.
Senate Crime Scene [FRC]

Only problem for FRC? This is a complete and utter lie. Like not even a misrepresentation or a half-truth. We're talking a FLAT-OUT LIE that is belied by the actual, tangible data set!

What we are talking about here, LGBT hate crimes, have actually gone up in recent years, not down. In the last three FBI reports ('05, '06, and '07), incidents and offenses based on sexual orientation went up with every passing year:

200910260957-1

In fact, the total number of bias-motivated crimes in general has also gone up. The only cumulative stat to go down over the three years is in terms of the total number of reported offenses (as opposed to incidents) in all of the combined categories between the years '06 and '07, and that change was only -84 (9080 in '06 vs 9006 in '07). And both of these figures are higher than the cumulative stat for '05, when the total number of offenses in the combined categories was at 8380.

So in summation: LGBT offenses and incidents (the subject at hand) have gone up in every way, and total number of incidents and offenses in every category (which include protections for evangelicals) have gone up since '05. Which is not at all what FRC said. And of course we also know that more than any other class, it's LGBT bias motivated crimes that go unreported, due to fear out outing, fear of retribution, or local authorities' fear of gays (among other variables). So it's likely that the true number in our category (which again, is the one being attacked here) has never been fully reported.

Oh, and as for the intimidation claims: Why yes, FRC, intimidation does fall into the bias-motivated crime category. Because it's intimidating. And knowing what we know about the "pro-family" movement, we know that if a gay perpetrator were to engage in an act of intimidation against the Family Research Council or one of its staffers based on their evangelical beliefs, Tony Perkins would be turning it into a national incident faster that you can say "double standard." So let's not play these hypocritical games. And let's also not act like intimidation is this total non-problem that the gays use to further their cause. Human beings do engage in acts that are purposely intended to send a message of fear to specific communities. This should be one matter in which we ALL can agree to step up and fight the common enemy (bias). It's just a shame that this one group who itself has shown a demonstrable risk for bias-motivated crimes has such an insatiable need to politicize this matter of PUBLIC safety, using claims that are publicly disprovable.

Unless, of course, rather than not casting stones, that Jesus guy actually meant that Christians should turn a blind eye to others who do the same.

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Your thoughts

The FRC has been economical with the truth? Oh, my! Pass me the smelling salts before I faint in shock!

Doesn't it make a habit of this? Every time I hear of FBI hate crime statistics the FRC or some such body is trying to rewrite them.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia | Oct 26, 2009 1:13:48 PM

Yes, this has been a recurring FRC lie. An almost unbelievable one.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 26, 2009 1:16:08 PM

Intimidation is using the government to impose religious beliefs on the rest of the country. Or telling gay people that God doesn't love them unless they become heterosexuals.

Posted by: Michael | Oct 27, 2009 6:30:52 AM

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