Crime
1 min

Police-reported hate crimes against gays doubled in 2008

Police-reported hate crimes against gays doubled between 2007 and 2008, according to a Statistics Canada report released today.

The report found that:

  • Police services reported 1,036 hate crimes in 2008, up 35% from 2007;
  • Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation more than doubled from 2007 to 2008, the largest increase among three categories of hate crimes (the other two being religion and race/ethnicity);
  • Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were the most violent in
    nature. In 2008, 75% of those motivated by sexual orientation were
    violent compared with 38% of racially-motivated incidents and 25% of
    religiously-motivated incidents;
  • Among violent incidents motivated by sexual orientation, 85% of the victims were male;
  • Among metropolitan areas larger than 500,000, Vancouver and Hamilton tied for the highest rate of hate crimes (6.3 per 100,000 population in 2008).
  • For metropolitan areas between 100,000 and 500,000, London and Guelph topped the list, with 8.2 hate crimes per 100,000 population in 2008).

Today’s report follows news of another high-profile gaybashing in Vancouver: two gay men were viciously beaten on Saturday.

Statistics Canada notes that their report likely undercounts the true extent of hate crime in Canada, as not all crimes are reported to police. The study also notes that the number of hate crimes reported by police in any given area may
be influenced by the presence or absence of specialized hate crime
units or initiatives.

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