The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released the latest annual statistics on U.S. hate crimes reported in 2008. The 2008 numbers "are up slightly—7,783 incidents and 9,691 victims" were reported last year. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation have the largest increase of nearly 11 percent. A breakdown of the 1,706 victims of sexual-orientation hate crimes:
– 59 percent: Victims of offender’s anti-male homosexual bias.
– 26 percent: Victims because of an anti-homosexual bias.
– 12 percent: Victims because of an anti-female homosexual bias.
– 2 percent: Victims because of an anti-heterosexual bias.
– 2 percent: Victims because of an anti-bisexual bias.
Hate crimes based on religion (mostly targeting Jews and Muslims) rose by 9 percent and the "largest category, racially-motivated hate crimes, fell less than 1 percent."
In recent weeks there have been a rash of reported anti-LGBT hate crimes, especially targeting black and Latino LGBT. The past month has seen attacks against teens in Puerto Rico and Texas, as well as against several gay menin New York and transgender women in Wisconsin.
The Bureau notes that with the recent passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, it will now "begin the process of adding the collection of hate crimes motivated by gender and gender identity and incorporating them into our annual report."