There has been a noticeable jump in the number of reported hate crimes in Canada in 2008, and gay men top the charts as victims of hate-motivated violence, according to a police services report.
The rise in hate crimes is most likely due to better reporting of hate-motivated incidents, which is a very good thing, but these numbers are still way too high. The number of hate crimes logged by police, for example, has risen 35 percent since the year before to a grand total of 1,036. That’s over a thousand victims selected simply because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation with no other motivating factors.
Most disturbingly, 75 percent of all hate crimes involving physical violence (as opposed to vandalism and other non-violent incidents) were motivated solely by the sexual orientation of the victim. Of these, 85 percent of the victims were gay men. This means the gay community, and particularly gay men, are at a hugely disproportionate risk of violence.
This has got to change, and it starts by challenging all casual homophobia before it has a chance to escalate to this level of hate.
- Gay men targets of violence as hate crimes jump [Toronto Star]