Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hate crimes based on sexual orientation go down in 2009

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's crime statistics, hate crimes based on sexual orientation went down in Tennessee in 2009 vs the previous year. There were 52 sexual bias crimes in 2009 vs 60 in 2008.

Nevertheless, there were incidents in Nashville. The Tennessean describes two:

"In March, a man walking downtown on Second Avenue was confronted by a man who asked if he was gay. When he responded that he was gay, the other man punched him in the mouth. The victim required stitches."

and...

"In December, a man walking near Second Avenue North and Commerce Street with his friends was called an anti-gay slur, punched and tossed to the ground. He was treated for a dislocated elbow."

Overall, the report is good news. The report is a reminder that areas that are becoming more tolerant such as Nashville still have work to do in reducing the number of bias related incidents.

The report does not cover crimes based on gender identity unless it is now putting such crimes in with the category gender. The federal hate crimes law was signed in 2009 which covers both sexual orientation and gender identity, so hopefully the 2010 report that comes out next year will have a full breakdown of statistics. The lack of specific reporting is another reason to pass the Richardson/Marrero bill in the Legislature that would add gender identity and expression to the state hate crimes statute.