Hate Crimes Committed Against Gays Essay

Hate Crimes Committed Against Gays Essay

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Hate crimes committed against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgendered individuals constitute the third-highest category of hate crimes reported to the FBI. Earlier studies by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, including an analysis of 21 different local surveys between 1980 and 1991, found widespread discrimination across the country against gay men and lesbians. According to the report, as many as 44 percent of respondents in some cities reported employment discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation. 32 percent reported discrimination in renting a housing unit. The study also said that gay men and lesbians reported discrimination in public restaurants and in receiving health services, obtaining insurance and in education(1). But perhaps more widespread and more potent than the violence and discrimination is the emotional abuse that so many members of the LGBT community are victims of, which has led to an unthinkable rise in suicide rates among the community; each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times, on average(2). With all of these horrifying statistics in mind, it is mind-boggling to then learn that this is actually the point that the LGBT community has gotten to after much social and political progress. Conditions have been much worse for anyone that dared to be openly gay, bisexual, or transgender in the past. The LGBT community has faced hostility, discrimination, and sometimes deadly violence for longer than most may think.
Most historians agree that there is evidence of homosexual activity throughout much of documented history. However, there was little formal study of homosexuali...


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...th this encouragement, homosexuality has reached its highest point of cultural and social acceptability. Celebrity performers, both gay and heterosexual, have been among the most vocal activists, calling for tolerance and equal rights. As a result of hard work by countless organizations and individuals, with the help of the massively expanding Internet community, the 21st century has heralded new legal gains for gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex civil unions were recognized under Vermont law in 2000, and Massachusetts became the first state to perform same-sex marriages in 2003. With the end of state sodomy laws (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003), gay Americans were finally free from criminal classification. Gay marriage is now legal in 21 countries, including the United States, although the recognition of gay marriage by church and state continues to divide opinion worldwide.

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