Southern Poverty Law Center

Take a Stand Against Hate Crimes
Hate Crimes Facts and Stats
SPLC: List of Hate Groups

Gay Hate Crimes: Faces and Stories

Attack on Trans Woman in Paris

Tribute to Hate Crimes Victims
Hate Crimes and National Coming Out Day

We Give a Damn: Campaign Against Hate Crimes

Wikipedia: List of Hate Groups

NY Times: LGBTQ People Are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes


Incidents of Hate


In December 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that over 800 hate incidents occurred since the election of Donald Trump.

Two reports were released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, during a press conference in Washington, DC, that document how President-elect Donald Trump’s own words have sparked hate incidents across the country and are having a profoundly negative effect on the nation’s schools.

In the report, Ten Days After, SPLC documented 867 bias-related incidents in the 10 days following the presidential election. Among them: multiple reports of black children being told to ride in the back of school buses; the words "Trump Nation" and "Whites Only" being painted on a church with a large immigrant population; and an elderly gay man being pulled from his car and beaten by an assailant who said the "president says we can kill all you faggots now."

In a second report, After the Election: The Trump Effect, SPLC's Teaching Tolerance project details the findings of an online survey of more than 10,000 educators since the election. Ninety percent reported that their school's climate has been negatively affected, and 80 percent described heightened anxiety and concern among minority students worried about the impact of the election on their families.

At the press conference, SPLC President Richard Cohen was joined by other human rights and education leaders in calling on President Trump to take responsibility for his actions and to repair the damage he has caused.


Trumphobia: Crisis Hotlines Flooded With Calls From Scared LGBTQ Teens

Video: Watch C-SPAN Press Conference

Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in Aftermath of Election

Trump Effect: Impact of the Presidential Election

Jezebel: SPLC Documents Nearly 900 Hate Crimes in 10 Days Following Donald Trump's Election

NBC News: Southern Poverty Law Center Reports 'Outbreak of Hate' After Election

New York Times: Groups Document More Than 860 Hate Incidents Since Elections

NY Daily News: Nearly 900 Hate Attacks Reported in 10 Days after Trump Election

Reuters: US Hate Incidents Rise Sharply After Trump Win

CNN: Harassment in Schools Skyrockets After Election


Hate Crimes Defined

A hate crime is any crime which is targeted at an individual due to prejudice or hatred towards the individual’s race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religious belief, disability, language, gender, gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation. A hate crime can be committed against an individual, an institution, a business or even society. It’s committed to harm, intimidate or terrify the targeted individual as well as the individual’s group. In hate crimes, the victims have done nothing to warrant such acts of crime, except for the fact that they are who they are.

Violent crime has been declining throughout the United States in recent years, yet hate crimes against LGBTQ people continue to rise. In 1997, at least 18 lives were lost as a result of anti-LGBTQ violence. There were a total of 1,375 reported violent crimes against LGBTQ individuals. Further the societal costs of hate crimes, in terms of self-esteem, productivity, and public expense, are incalculable.

Hate crimes send a message that certain groups of us are not welcome and unsafe in a particular community. As a result, studies indicate that hate crimes appear to have more serious psychological effects on the victims and the communities they represent than do other crimes. Research indicates that victims of hate crimes often link their vulnerability to their personal, cultural, or spiritual identity. The result is that victims of hate crimes often suffer greater emotional trauma than other crime victims.



Hate Groups

The Southern Poverty Law Center (Intelligence Project) monitors the activities of hate groups throughout the United States. Listed here is a sampling of hate groups, including anti-gay organizations.

Abiding Truth Ministries
Alliance Defending Freedom

American Vision

American Family Association

American Freedom Party

America's Promise Ministries
Chalcedon Foundation
Council of Conservative Citizens

Family Research Council
Ku Klux Klan

Liberty Council

Mass Resistance
Traditional Values Coalition
Watchmen on the Walls
Westboro Baptist Church


Southern Poverty Law Center

Take a Stand Against Hate Crimes
Hate Crimes Facts and Stats
SPLC: List of Hate Groups

Gay Hate Crimes: Faces and Stories
Tribute to Hate Crimes Victims
Hate Crimes and National Coming Out Day

We Give a Damn: Campaign Against Hate Crimes

Wikipedia: List of Hate Groups

NY Times: LGBTQ People Are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes


Hate Crimes Myths and Facts

The Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity is dedicated to sending out the message that it is unacceptable to victimize someone because of that person’s race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

In the aftermath of the horrible torture and murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming on October 6, 1998, a public discussion on the meaning and value of bias crimes laws occupies talk shows, newspapers, and dining room tables. Unfortunately, too often the discussion is based on misinformation. Ironically, in some cases the confusion about bias crimes laws is itself used to promote a hate filled agenda. A society that is committed to equity and justice must focus this important bias crimes discussion on fact, not myth.

Myth: All crimes involve hate; hate crimes laws are redundant and unnecessary.

Fact: The crimes in question are accurately identified as “bias crimes;” the term “hate crimes” is misleading unless it is used with a clarifying addition, “hate crimes motivated by bias.” A bias crime is an act that is motivated by the perpetrator’s bias against the group to which the victim belongs. Obviously, not all crimes that involve hate are included in this definition of a bias crime.

Myth: Bias crimes laws violate free speech rights by criminalizing thoughts and beliefs.

Fact: Bias crimes laws criminalize the action that is motivated by bias, not the bias isolated from the action. The US Supreme Court defined the perimeters of bias crimes laws in relation to free speech issues in two decisions in 1992.

Myth: A murder is a murder. A murder committed out of bias is no different from other murders.

Fact: Not all murders are treated equally in criminal law. The difference between first degree murder and second degree murder, for example, is the intent of the perpetrator. Society has determined in its laws that the intent of the perpetrator changes the nature of the crime committed and therefore a different penalty is appropriate. Enhancing the penalty for a crime involving bias reflects the fact that the harm done by an assault motivated by bias is more serious than the harm from an assault itself.


Myth: An assault committed against a Caucasian person is as serious as one committed against an African-American person. Bias crime laws say one is more serious than the other.

Fact: The crimes are equally serious if in both cases assault is all that is involved. However, if the assault is a bias crime, additional harm is done. First, bias crimes tend to be more violent. Moreover, the harm done to the victim is deeper. The attack is aimed at the very identity of a person, wounding the spirit as well as the body. Second, the effect of fear and intimidation is long lasting. Bias crime victims frequently change their daily patterns of action and sometimes even their residence out of fear. The aftermath of the crime thereby often affects the victim economically. Third, a bias crime intimidates the whole community to which the victim belongs. Finally, bias crimes drive wedges between groups of people and thereby have a serious societal impact.

Myth: Bias crimes laws grant special rights to certain groups.

Fact: Bias crimes laws identify certain categories such as race, not specific communities of people such as Native American. The Bias Crime Law in Washington State, for example, identifies the categories of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation and physical, mental or sensory handicap. The law does not identify specific groups within those categories such as African- Americans, Jewish people, or gays and lesbians. Indeed, bias crime charges have been filed in cases where the victim was white. Bias crimes laws increase the penalty not because of the race etc. of the victim, but because of the bias of the perpetrator. Hence, if a straight man is attacked because the perpetrator perceives him to be gay, the bias crime law may apply.

Myth: Bias crime laws are promoted to further the agenda of certain groups.

Fact: The laws protect everyone within the defined categories: white as well as black, Christian as well as Jew, straight as well as gay. The “special rights” and “gay agenda” attacks of the extreme religious right are dishonest attempts to utilize misinformation and confusion to further their own homophobic agenda. Would a bias crimes law in Wyoming have stopped the perpetrators from killing Matthew Shepard? Probably not. But neither do laws criminalizing robbery stop all robbers. We need inclusive bias crimes laws that are clearly understood and resolutely enforced. Such action sends a loud message that it is unacceptable to victimize someone because of that person’s race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. Bias crime law convictions bring justice which helps the healing process for the survivors of the crime, including the community to which the victim belonged. The confusion and misinformation about bias crimes must be cleared up so that we can focus on the real problem, namely, the prejudice and bigotry that gives rise to bias crimes.

[Source: Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity]



North Carolina Pastors Spews Anti-Gay Speech

In June 2012, Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, NC, condemned President Obama's much publicized endorsement of same-sex marriage while calling for gays and lesbians to be put in an electrified pen and ultimately killed off.

"Build a great, big, large fence, 150 or 100 mile long, and put all the lesbians in there," Worley suggested. "Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out. And you know what, in a few years, they'll die out. Do you know why? They can't reproduce!"

He also said that if he's asked who he'll vote for, he'll reply, "I'm not going to vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!" Many of the congregants cheered and replied, "Amen."

Worley added, “It makes me puking sick to think about. I don’t even know whether or not to say this in the pulpit. Can you imagine kissing some man?”

The pastor's comments seem in line with statements made by Ron Baity, founding pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and head of the anti-marriage equality organization Return America, who told his own congregation that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should be prosecuted as they were historically, and Pastor Sean Harris of the Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville who advocated parents “punch” their male child if he is effeminate and "crack that wrist" if he is limp-wristed.

Similarly, Tim Rabon, pastor of Raleigh's Beacon Baptist Church, condemned states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland which have already "re-defined" marriage to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples before asking his congregants, "What is stopping them from refining marriage from a person and a beast? We're not far from that."


Fred Phelps: Minister of Hate

The Westboro Baptist Church is a fundamentalist religious organization, founded by Fred Phelps and based in Topeka, Kansas. The church runs numerous websites such as GodHatesFags.com, GodHatesAmerica.com and others expressing condemnation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jews, as well as populations it believes are supporting the aforementioned groups.

The organization is monitored by the Anti-Defamation League, and is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Although well-known in LGBTQ communities for picketing gay pride events and funerals, the group achieved national notoriety for picketing funeral processions for soldiers killed in action during the Iraq War.

While its members identify themselves as Baptists, the church is an independent church not affiliated with any known Baptist conventions or associations, nor does any Baptist institution recognize the church as a Bible-believing fellowship. The church describes itself as following Primitive Baptist and Calvinist principles, though mainstream Primitive Baptists condemn Westboro Baptist Church and Phelps. Its first public service was held in November 1955.

The church bases its work around the belief expressed by its best known slogan and the address of its primary website, “God hates fags”, and expresses the idea, based on biblical verses, that nearly every tragedy in the world is linked to homosexuality, specifically society’s increasing tolerance and acceptance of the so-called “Homosexual Agenda.” The group maintains that God hates homosexuals above all other kinds of “sinners” and that homosexuality should be a capital crime.

There is estimated to be no more than 150 members of Westboro Baptist Church, the majority of whom are Fred Phelps' family members (spouses, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren).

Southern Poverty Law Center

Take a Stand Against Hate Crimes
Hate Crimes Facts and Stats
SPLC: List of Hate Groups

Gay Hate Crimes: Faces and Stories
Tribute to Hate Crimes Victims
Hate Crimes and National Coming Out Day

We Give a Damn: Campaign Against Hate Crimes

Wikipedia: List of Hate Groups

NY Times: LGBTQ People Are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes


Fred Phelps Dies


Fred Phelps, the founding pastor of the hateful independent Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, has died. The 84-year-old died of natural causes on March 19, 2014. Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas in 1955 and molded it in his hate-filled, fire-and-brimstone image. Many members of the small congregation are related to Phelps through blood or marriage.

It is estimated that the church has picketed more than 53,000 events. Typically, a dozen or so church members (including small children) brandished signs that said "God Hates Fags." Phelps was often called "the most hated man in America," a label he seemed to relish. "If I had nobody mad at me," he said, "what right would I have to claim that I was preaching the Gospel?" Under Phelps' leadership, Westboro members have preached that every calamity, from natural disasters to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is God's punishment for the country's acceptance of homosexuality. Phelps had advocated for gays and lesbians to be put to death.

"Fred Phelps will not be missed by the LGBTQ community, people with HIV/AIDS and the millions of decent people across the world who found what he and his followers do deeply hurtful and offensive," the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said in a statement. Phelps began his hateful anti-gay protests in Wichita in 1991 after complaining that the city refused to stop gay activities in a public park. He rose to national notoriety in 1998, when Westboro members picketed at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming man who was tortured and murdered because he was gay. Phelps and his church carried signs that said Shepard was rotting in hell. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Westboro Baptist Church "arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America."


Hate Crimes Statistics

Hate Crimes by Bias Type

--48.5 percent were due to racial prejudice
--19.7 percent were due to religious prejudice
--18.5 percent were due to sexual orientation prejudice
--11.8 percent were due to ethnicity or national origin prejudice
--1.5 percent were due to disability prejudice

Hate Crimes by Activity Type

--45 percent were intimidations
--35.4 percent were simple assaults
--19.1 percent were aggravated assault
--0.5 percent were 8 murders and 9 forcible rapes

Hate Crimes Against Property

--83 percent were classified as acts of vandalism, destruction, and damage
--17 percent were burglary, arson, larceny-theft, robbery, motor vehicle theft, and others

Hate Crimes by Race of Offenders

--62.4 percent were white
--18.5 percent were black
--7.3 percent were groups of multiple races
--1 percent were Native Americans or Native Alaskans
--0.7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander
--10.1 percent unknown

Hate Crimes by Location

--31.3 percent took place in or near homes
--17.2 percent occurred on alleys, highways, streets or roads
--11.4 percent took place in schools
--6.1 percent happened in garages or parking lots
--4.3 percent occurred in churches, temples, and synagogues
--29.7 percent other locations


[Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009 Report]



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