Gallup Poll on Hate Crimes

by Jennie Smith

May 17, 2007

Public Favors Expansion of Hate Crime Law to Include Sexual Orientation

Majorities of Republicans, conservatives, and frequent church attenders in favor

by Frank Newport


PRINCETON, NJ -- A substantial majority of the American public favors the expansion of federal hate crime legislation to include crimes against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed such legislation, which is now being considered by the Senate. Republicans, conservatives, and religious Americans are slightly less likely than others to favor the expansion of hate crime legislation, but a majority of those in each of these conservative and religious groups favors the proposed legislation.


H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 passed by the U.S. House in early May and now being considered by the Senate, has become quite controversial in some circles. The bill would expand existing federal hate crime legislation to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim's gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

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Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Crimes Resources

by Jennie Smith

Hate Crime
Report: FBI Hate Crime Statistics Vastly Understate Problem
The real number of hate crimes in the United States is more than 15 times higher than FBI statistics reflect, according to a stunning new government report.

Hate crime statistics published by the FBI since 1992, based on voluntary reports from law enforcement agencies around the country, have shown annual totals of about 6,000 to 10,000, depending on the year. But the new report, "Hate Crimes Reported by Victims and Police," found an average annual total of 191,000 hate crimes. That means the real level of hate crime runs between 19 and 31 times higher than the numbers that have been officially reported for almost 15 years.

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FBI Hate Crimes Statistics

by Jennie Smith


Download Printable Document

In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.  In 2007, the Nation’s law enforcement agencies reported that there were 9,535 victims of hate crimes.  Of these victims, 8 were victimized in 3 separate multiple-bias incidents.

By bias motivation

An analysis of data for victims of single-bias hate crime incidents showed that:

  • 52.0 percent of the victims were targeted because of the offender’s bias against a race.
  • 17.1 percent were victimized because of a bias against a religious belief.
  • 15.9 percent were targeted because of a bias against a particular sexual orientation.
  • 14.1 percent were victimized because of a bias against an ethnicity/national origin.
  • 0.9 percent were targeted because of a bias against a disability.

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Anti-Defamation League Hate Crimes Resources

by Jennie Smith

Combating Hate

Confronting Hate Crimes in America
A new report on hate violence in America, Confronting the New Faces of Hate:  Hate Crimes in America 2009, documents the impact of hateful rhetoric against Hispanics, immigrants and others. ADL contributed to sections of the report from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, and joined at a news conference in Washington, D.C. with civil rights leaders to discuss its findings.

Read/Download the Report:
Confronting the New Faces of Hate

In the News: The Washington Post

New!  ADL Statement to Senate Democratic Caucus regarding Hate Crimes

ADL Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Prevention Act

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Resources From People for the American Way for the Hate Crimes Prevention Act

by Jennie Smith

Tell Congress: pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act!

2009: The Year We Pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act!

Both the House and the Senate have passed the Hate Crimes Prevent in Act! In the Senate, it passed as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, and that is the form in which it will hopefully reach the president's desk. Now, it's up to House members of the conference committee to make sure that the Matthew Shepard Act remains in the authorization bill. And the Right is not throwing in the towel yet.

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ADL Statement to Senate Democratic Caucus Reguarding Hate Crimes

by Jennie Smith

ADL Statement to Senate Democratic Caucus regarding Hate Crimes

Statement by Kenneth Jacobson (as prepared)
ADL Deputy National Director
before Senate Democratic Caucus
Regarding Hate Crimes and
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act

July 22, 2009

This is a gratifying time for those of us who have struggled for a decade to achieve satisfactory Federal Hate Crime legislation. Thanks to the hard work of many in Congress, in particular that of Senators Kennedy, Reid, Levin, Leahy and Cardin, we have seen the passage of the amendment to the Defense Authorization bill providing for expanded federal hate crime involvement and coverage. A similar bill passed the House and now we eagerly await the outcome of the Senate-House Conference, and the signing of the bill by the president.

A lot has been accomplished on the subject of hate crimes going back to the 80's. ADL developed model hate crime legislation for the states; it was upheld by the Supreme Court and is now the basis for legislation in 45 states across the country.

But there were gaps and these gaps have been filled by the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Prevention Act. Now in certain cases where the state or locality has been unable or unwilling to prosecute a hate crime, federal prosecutors can consider stepping in. Now a hate crime can be considered for federal prosecution not only if it is committed when the victim is involved in a federal action, such as voting, but in actions of a broader nature, involving any sort of interstate commerce, which is the baseline for other federal jurisdictions.

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Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Chai Impact Legislative Action Center

by Jennie Smith

Support Vital Hate Crimes Prevention Law!

Current hate crime statutes offer no federal protection against bias motivated crimes rooted in sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act would include these categories and permit federal authorities to help investigate and prosecute cases when local authorities are unable or willing to do so. With technical assistance and training, local law enforcement will be prepared to combat these acts of violence that intimidate the community by using brutality against a few individuals to incite fear among many.

The Senate will consider this week the FY 2010 Department of Defense Authorization bill (S.1391) which includes the hate crime legislation. The House of Representatives passed the bill last week and it is now time for the Senate to act to ensure protection for all people against bias motivated crimes. Upon approval by the Senate, this bill will reach President Obama’s desk for signature into law.

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Agudath Israel Back Hate Crimes Bill

by Jennie Smith

Agudath Israel backs hate crimes bill

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An Orthodox Jewish group has come out in support of federal hate crimes legislation.

Agudath Israel of America announced Wednesday that it would support a bill expanding federal involvement in investigating hate crimes as well as the federal definition of such crimes to include those motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

Conservative Christian groups have opposed the legislation because -- contrary to the assertions of supporters -- they claim the bill would allow prosecutions of those who hold or express religious beliefs opposing homosexuality. But in a statement, Agudah said the legislation "goes far in alleviating these concerns."

Agudah said provisions in the legislation preserve "a religious adherent's constitutional right to the free exercise of religion and makes clear that the legislation cannot be construed to infringe, prohibit, diminish or burden that right," including a section stating that "no one can be prosecuted solely because he or she maintains a certain religious belief or identifies with a certain religious denomination."

Hate Crimes 2009 -

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On Faith Panelists Blog: Freedom to Hate

by Jennie Smith

President, Secular Coalition for America

Herb Silverman

Silverman is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the College of Charleston and Founder and President of the Secular Coalition for America.

Freedom to hate

Q: Congress is expected to expand federal hate crimes laws to add "sexual orientation" to a list that already includes "race, color, religion or national origin." Is this necessary? Should there be special laws against crimes motivated by intolerance, bigotry and hatred? Isn't a crime a crime?

Some cultures discourage women from smoking, and may even punish them severely. I agree that women should be strongly discouraged from smoking. The difference is that I would discourage women and men equally.

By the same token, I think crimes motivated by hatred of the victim's sexual orientation should be treated no differently than crimes motivated by rage or anything else. I don't want to hold the accused guilty of having an opinion, in addition to the crime committed, because even a reprehensible criminal deserves a free speech right to express an opinion. We have the right to hate, but not to commit crimes.

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Hearing to Examine "The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act 2009"

by Lizzy Genatowski

To visit the Judiciary Committee's Homepage, click here.

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For more information about LLEHCPA, please email Jared Feldman.