Argument: Gays and lesbians need special protections from hate crimes

Issue Report: Hate crime laws


This is an argument easily bolstered by the facts. FBI data show more than 1,000 reported hate crime incidents directed at gays and lesbians in the year 2005 alone.1 For example, earlier this year, Andrew Anthos, a 72 year-old man in Michigan, was beaten to death with a metal pipe because he was gay. But, for the purposes of this legislation, the most important point is that every act of violence committed against an individual based on hatred for gays and lesbians is meant to send shockwaves of fear and intimidation throughout the entire gay community. Law enforcement groups, who only endorse legislation they consider to be in the best interest of public safety, also agree there is a problem that merits the passage of an expanded Hate Crimes law.2
The Message: ‘This isn’t about providing something ‘special’ to gays and lesbians; it’s about protecting them from hate-directed violence. The more than 1,000 hate crimes directed at gays and lesbians every year are meant to intimidate and instill fear in the hearts of the entire gay community. Gay Americans deserve the same basic freedom from fear, intimidation, and hate-directed violence that we all take for granted. It is time to tell the relatively few but dangerous Americans who seek out gay people to torment that their violent actions are unacceptable. Police organizations have asked for this, they say they need it, and we ought to listen to them.'”