Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BACKLASH

Report: Gay bias killings highest since 1999 - Washington Blade
The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people killed in bias-motivated incidents increased by 28 percent in 2008 compared to a year ago, according to a national coalition of advocacy groups.

Last year's 29 killings was the highest recorded by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs since 1999, when it documented the same number of slayings, according to a report released Tuesday by the coalition.

"What we're also seeing, more disturbingly, is the increase in the severity of violence," said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates coalition.

Stapel theorized that at least some of last year's violence was backlash against issues that arose during the during the presidential campaign. She cited debates about same-sex marriage, the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and federal legislation that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as possible flash points.

"The more visibility there is the more likely we're going to see backlash, and that's exactly what we see here," Stapel said.

Overall, the number of victims who reported anti-LGBT violence in 2008 increased by two percent compared to 2007, said the New York-based coalition of programs in 25 states....


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