Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

Dr J's Daily Dose of Debunking

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yesterday's headline from AP: "More anti-gay, religious-motivated crimes reported."  However, when you go to the FBI website, practically the first thing out of their mouths is this disclaimer:
Overall, the 2008 numbers are up slightly—7,783 incidents and 9,691 victims (including individuals, businesses, and institutions) were reported to us by our law enforcement partners across the country. But a note here: our Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program doesn’t report trends in hate crime stats—yearly increases or decreases often occur because the number of agencies who report to us varies from year to year.
That doesn't stop the AP from going on about increases in hate crimes of various categories. 
These same figures show a nearly 11 percent increase in hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation, and a nearly 9 percent increase in hate crime offenses based on religion. The largest category, racially motivated hate crimes, fell less than 1 percent.
Naturally, the story line here is the need for the new hate crimes legislation for sexual orientation. The only advocacy group quoted was the Human Rights Campaign. No one from any of the traditional civil rights groups. Although they mention that racially motivated hate crimes were the largest category, they fail to mention that these crimes account for over half of all incidents, while crimes motivated by sexual orientation account for only 17%.
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