FBI’s Annual Crime Report — Amid State of Emergency, Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate Crimes Hit Staggering Record Highs

by Delphine Luneau

Attacks Based on Gender Identity Up 32.9% from Prior Year, Those Based on Sexual Orientation Up 13.8%; Race & Ethnicity-Based Hate Crimes Remain Largest Category

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — sounded the alarm today as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its annual crime report for 2022 showing that anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes were up sharply from the prior year, with a 13.8% increase in reports based on sexual orientation and a shocking 32.9% jump in reported hate crimes based on gender identity

In response to the FBI’s 2022 report, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson released the following statement:

"The rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community is both shocking and heartbreaking, yet sadly, not unexpected. The constant stream of hostile rhetoric from fringe anti-equality figures, alongside the relentless passage of discriminatory bills, particularly those targeting transgender individuals, in state legislatures, created an environment where it was sadly foreseeable that individuals with violent tendencies might respond to this rhetoric. The FBI's data serves as another alarming indicator of the state of emergency our community finds itself in.
“We also know that this data is incomplete, that too many cities and states are reporting incomplete data, or even no data at all, on hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. If we’re going to bring a stop to that violence, we need a full accounting of just how many hate crimes are taking place – and that requires every jurisdiction stepping up.”

The FBI’s report noted that there were 1,947 recorded incidents relating to an alleged victim’s sexual orientation in 2022, up from 1,711 the year before, and 469 relating to an alleged victim’s gender identity, vs. 353 the year before. The gender identity category included 338 instances that were specifically anti-transgender and 131 that targeted someone who was gender noncomforming.

Race/ethnicity motivated hate crimes remained the largest category with 56% of all hate crimes. Hate crimes based on religion moved into second, just ahead of sexual orientation.

More than 1 in 5 of any type of hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias, and HRC in recent years has been tracking a horrifying wave of fatal violence against transgender people, especially Black transgender women.

Even with these horrifying stats, the problem of incomplete data reporting for hate crimes is a longstanding one. In the “Blueprint for Positive Change,” a document released in November 2020 that offered a roadmap toward equality for the then-incoming Biden-Harris administration, HRC called for the Department of Justice to intensify efforts to encourage local law enforcement to report hate crimes statistics annually. While positive steps have been taken by the administration to improve reporting compliance, more is necessary in order to ensure more accurate and complete hate crimes reporting, including making the reporting mandatory.

The FBI’s report comes amid an unprecedented spike in anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation, with more than 550 bills introduced in 43 states, and more than 80 signed into law — more than doubling last year, which was previously the worst year on record. The wave of harmful and discriminatory legislation — some of which was engineered and championed by extremist GOP candidates running for president and their allies — and the concurrent spike in anti-transgender rhetoric and violence prompted HRC in June to declare a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people for the first time in the organization’s more than 40-year history.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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Hate Crimes