Hate crimes against LGBT community increase in 2009


According to a report by OutFront Minnesota and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), hate crimes in the state increased in 2009. Violent crimes motivated by anti-LGBT sentiment climbed 64 percent in 2009, and 93 percent of victims required some sort of medical attention.

Most disturbing for LGBT advocates was a 138 percent increase in crimes against LGBT people under age 18.

There were a number of high-profile instances of anti-LGBT violence and harassment in 2009. In late-January, Kristen Boyne was walking home from her job in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood when two men beat her, leaving her unconscious.

In June, a group of Somali youths threw rocks and harassed a man leaving the Twin Cities Pride Festival near Loring Park.

And in Minneapolis’ Northeast neighborhood, a group of people were attacked by a man shouting anti-gay slurs.

“We are deeply concerned,” said Rebecca Waggoner Kloek who runs OutFront’s anti-violence programming. In a statement, she said the increase in Minnesota, 64 percent, is alarming considering the increase nationwide is 7 percent.

There was a 104 percent “increase in the number of incidents involving multiple offenders” and “a 72 percent increase in assault or attempted assault.” Harassment cases were up 325 percent. According to the report, the most common weapons used were bats, bricks, rocks and knives. There was an 80 percent increase in the use of sexual violence during attacks. And the report showed a 29 percent increase in the number of attacks targeting people who are transgender.

“These findings also show that violence directed at LGBTQ Minnesotans continues to become more brutal and more likely to be perpetrated by groups rather than individual assailants,” Kloek said. “We are still in danger. Anti-violence work is unfortunately as vital as ever before and we must continue to strive to create safe streets, homes and workplaces. We must demand that the larger community and criminal justice systems hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.”