Hate crimes based on sexual orientation rose slightly in 2011 compared to the previous year, despite fewer agencies submitting data, a report by the FBI shows.
According to the 2011 Hate Crime Statistics, the number of reported hate crimes committed against gay men and lesbians increased from 1,277 in 2010 to 1,293 in 2011—evidencing a 2.6 percent rise.
Less law enforcement agencies nationwide submitted data regarding this type of hate crimes. The number of agencies dropped from 14,977 in 2010 to 14,575 the next year. However, the number of hate crimes based on sexual identity was still enough to surpass those committed based on religion.
“The increase in the number of reported hate crimes directed against gays and lesbians, now the second most frequent category of crime, is especially disturbing," the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.
Submitting hate crimes based on gender identity is voluntary. But under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the FBI will begin collecting this data in 2013 and will report these statistics beginning in 2014.
Overall, the number of hate crimes decreased by 6 percent, going from 6,222 reported incidents of hate crime involving 7,254 offenses to 6,629 hate crime incidents involving 7,699 offenses in 2011.