CA Hate Crimes Down and Up in 2008

The California Attorney General released its report on Hate Crimes in California in 2008. It has some interesting statistics which are likely of interest to folks following accusations of violence, intimidation, assault, vandalism, etc. related to the Proposition 8 debates.

Overall, hate events in California were down 2% from 1,426 in 2007 to 1,397 in 2008. There can be multiple hate crime offenses in each hate crime event, and offenses were also down from 1,931 to 1,837 (4.9%). There can also be multiple victims in each reported hate crime, and those numbers, too, were down from 1,764 in 2007 to 1,698 in 2008 (3.7%). Fewer people were committing hate crimes in 2008 as well – the number of suspects decreased nearly 10% from 1,627 in 2007 to 1,473 in 2008.

Despite the overall decrease in hate crimes, both anti-gay and anti-religious hate crimes were up.

The most common type of hate crimes in both 2007 and 2008 werethose motivate by race/ethnicity or national origin (about 60% of all hate crimes).

In 2008, hate crimes with a religious bias motivation comprised 21% of hate crimes (with anti-Jewish bias accounting for nearly 63% of those incidents). Crimes with a sexual bias motivation comprised 20.3% of hate crimes (with anti-Gay bias accounting for just over 54% of those incidents). In 2007, there were slightly more sexual bias-motivated crimes than there were religious-bias motivated crimes.

Some more details about California hate crimes:

  • Total hate crimes : 1,397
  • Race/Ethnicity/National Origin: 800 (57.3%)
  • Religion: 294 (21%)
  • Sexual Orientation*: 283 (20.3%)
  • Physical/Mental Disability: 4 (0.3%)
  • Gender*: 16 (1.1%)

*There were 13 gender-based hate crimes against transgendered people and 3 sexual orientation-based crimes against heterosexuals. If one were to include these gender-based hate crimes with those based on sexual orientation, there would have been more hate crimes based on sexual identity/orientation than those based on religion (307 vs 294). If one were to exclude the hate crimes toward heterosexuals, there would have been 304 instances of GLBT-based hate crimes.

Anti-Jewish – 184 (13.2% of total hate crimes; 62.6% of religious hate crimes)
Anti-Catholic – 12 (0.9% of total hate crimes; 4.1% of religious hate crimes)
Anti-Protestant – 8 (0.6% of total hate crimes; 2.7% of religious hate crimes)
Anti-Islamic – 11 (0.8% of total hate crimes; 3.7% of religious hate crimes)
Anti-Other Religion – 64 (4.5% of total hate crimes; 21.4% of religious hate crimes)*
Anti-Multiple Religious – 14 (1.1% of total hate crimes; 5.1% of religious hate crimes)
Anti-Atheistic/Agnostic – 1 (0.1% of total hate crimes; 0.3% of religious hate crimes)

*In 2007, there were 24 hate crimes in this category, which would include Mormons.

Anti-Gay – 154 (11.0% of total, 54.4% of Sexual Orientation hate crimes)
Anti-Lesbian 22 (1.6% of total, 7.8% of Sexual Orientation hate crimes)
Anti-Gay and Lesbian – 102 (7.3% of total, 36.0% of Sexual Orientation hate crimes)
Anti-Heterosexual – 3 (0.2% of total, 1.1% of Sexual Orientation hate crimes)
Anti-Bisexual – 2 (0.1% of total, 0.7% of Sexual Orientation hate crimes)

Anti-Male – 0
Anti-Female – 3 (0.2%)
Anti-Transgender – 13 (0.3%)

There were 110 hate crime offenses reported at church/synagogue/temples in 2008, accounting for 6% of the locations reported. That’s up 52.8% from 72 in 2007.

When viewed by type of victim, there were 75 (4.4%) reported against religious institutions, 1,455 (85.7%) against individuals and 51 (3.0%) against businesses/financial institutions.

The “All Other Religions” category which would include Mormons accounted for 30 of the 75 hate crimes against religious institutions; 41 of the 1,455 hate crimes against individuals and 1 of the 51 hate crimes against businesses/financial institutions.

In 2008, there were 530 hate crimes referred to prosecutors. Of those, 353 were filed as Hate Crimes and of those 260 were disposed, resulting in 28 non-convictions, 128 hate crime convictions and 104 other convictions.

So, what might this mean?

It appears that there may have been some increases in hate crimes as a result of the heated Proposition 8 debates, and it is possible that anti-Mormon hate crimes increased from 2007 to 2008, but since Mormons are not listed as a single religious category, it is impossible to tell from this report exactly how many Mormon hate crime victims there were.

There were, at the most, 75 anti-Mormon hate crimes (with, at the most, 41 individual incidents and 30 institutional incidents such as vandalism or property destruction) compared to 304 anti-GLBT orientation/gender hate crimes or 184 anti-Jewish hate crimes (out of about 1400 total hate crimes).

Any hate crime is one too many, and anything we can do to teach ourselves, our friends, our children and our parents to follow the Golden Rule and respect others is a step in the right direction.

There’s an LDS hymn (No. 295 by Lorin F. Wheelwright) that is not sung enough these days. Its final verse says:

O Lord, give me the will to mend;
O Lord, change me from foe to friend;
Dear Lord, sustain me to the end –
Come, fill my soul today.

This holiday season, as the Psalmist said, let us “seek peace and pursue it” in all facets of our lives.

Filed in gay, homosexuality, mormons, prop 8 |

7 Responses to “CA Hate Crimes Down and Up in 2008”

  1. 1JBon 24 Nov 2009 at 8:00 am

    Thanks, Laura–this is important information–any word on what percentage of GLBT hate crimes were against “persons” versus against “property”?

  2. 2Lauraon 24 Nov 2009 at 9:32 am

    That is broken out, as I recall, but I don’t have time to look it up right now. I will and post it later in the day or perhaps this evening.

  3. 3Lauraon 24 Nov 2009 at 10:19 pm

    It turns out that there’s not a breakdown in the report that breaks out property vs. individual crimes by bias motivation, only victims. So, while we can tell from the report whether victims were individuals or business or religious institutions, we cannot what crime(s) were committed against those victims.

    Overall, property crimes accounted for just over 1/3 of all hate crimes, so most hate crimes were “violent” crimes with intimidation being the most common violent crime (about 42%) followed by simple assault (29%), aggravated assault (24%), robbery, murder, and forcible rape.

    Almost 94% of property crime was destruction/vandalism.

    The report includes plenty of graphs, tables and charts, making it easy to see what all of these numbers look like.

  4. 4fiona64on 30 Nov 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Unfortunately, things like Prop 8, Question 1, etc., give some people the idea that their homophobia is “righteous” (for lack of a better word) and that it’s acceptable to act on it. There is always a sharp uptick in anti-LGBT hate crimes whenever some piece of legislation like this passes.

    147 transgender people were murdered in the past year, just to name one statistic. If you look at this link, you will see that many of them are unnamed; no one from their family or friends even claimed them. This is the legacy of things like Prop 8, and it does not just happen abroad in third-world countries. It happens right here in the USA, in places like San Francisco or Chicago or Orlando.

    It saddens me mightily that people are so filled with hate against their fellow human beings.

  5. 5Sherion 30 Nov 2009 at 6:05 pm

    What makes these statistics even more tragic is Uganda is now trying to pass a bill where they can put to death LEGALLY gays with HIV/AIDS and imprison for life those without the disease. Anti-gay legislation here in the US has set a precident for the world. Those countries who tend to be more extreme in their views can now use us as they collect evidence for why it’s okay to punish homosexuals. Reverand Rick Warren (he said the prayer at Obama’s inauguration) and many high ranking officials in government are even offering their approval of this barbaric Ugandan law. What has happened to the consciousness and conscience of so many otherwise intelligent people?

  6. 6Fiona64on 04 Dec 2009 at 10:45 am

    Sheri, that law was put forth as a plan by a US organization calling itself “The Family,” led by Douglas Coe. Overview here:

    They also sponsor the National Prayer Breakfast, which should be very disturbing to people.

    Like I said, people use their bibles as weapons and things like Prop 8 and Question 1 to make their hatred “righteous.” It is a crying shame — and also part of the reason that organized religion is losing proponents at an enormous rate nowadays. :-(

  7. 7Sherion 04 Dec 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I just had to make a correction to my post above. Reverand Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in South Orange County, CA, isn’t offering his approval for the pending bill in Uganda where gay people can be put to death, but he did state that it’s not for him to interefer in another country’s political issues. He does have ties however, to those who have brought the anti-gay views of Americans to Uganda. But, I guess he thinks that’s okay