TVC, Concerned Women, and Focus Completely Make Up Hate Crime Statistics

Jim Burroway

March 25th, 2007

Update (3/27/2007): This post was revised to account for the official definition for “intimidation.” The original version of this post did not have that definition.

The Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women of America are propagating more hate crime nonesense, with Focus on the Family acting as the enabler. Get this:

Homosexual advocates who support the bill say violence against homosexuals is on the rise. They contend 14 percent of the 1,000 hate crimes reported in 2005 were due to sexual orientation.

“They claim that this is an epidemic, [but] one third of the ‘hate crime’s statistics’ are for ‘name-calling,’ ” Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, told Family News in Focus. “This is not a reason to bring in the federal government. The ultimate objective is to use the [prosecution] of hate speech against people of faith.”

The article’s subtitle claims, “The House is considering a measure that would make opposition to homosexuality a crime.” That is ridiculous. The First Amendment makes prohibiting opposition to anything illegal. Remember that the next time you see a Klan rally in the news. And everything else in that article is demonstrably false as well. And you don’t even have to believe me because it’s so easy to look up the data for yourself, thanks to the Internets.

First, go to the FBI’s 2005 Hate Crime Statistics web site. Bookmark it because this won’t be the last time Focus, TVC, or anyone else will lie about these statistics.

Now, see where it says, “Incidents and Offenses”? Click on where it says “Access Tables”. That’s where all the data is. From there, click on “Table 4”. Have a look around.

First of all, you will notice that there were 8,380 total hate crime offenses for 2005. Scroll down and you’ll see that it includes 1,171 offenses based on sexual orientation. Look below that for my personal favorite statistic: the 23 anti-heterosexual offenses. You’ll also see 58 anti-Protestant offenses and 935 anti-White offenses. So much for “special rights” for “more valuable victims.” Now you see why I keep saying that line of argument is complete hogwash.

Anyway, there weren’t 1,000 hate crimes reported in 2005, there were 8,380. But yes, the 1,171 offenses based on sexual orientation were 14% of the total. But now scroll back up and look accross the top. Do you see all of the categories of hate crime offenses?

I see murder, I see rape, I see, …. Oh, here it is. Intimidation. Is that “name calling”? Nope. The FBI defines “intimidation” this way (PDF: 71KB/29 pages. See page 23.):

Intimidation — To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

So no. It’s not name-calling. It’s making a specific threat of bodily harm. And according to the statistics there were 301 intimidation incidents based on sexual orientation. Let’s see, 301 divided by 1,171 — why that’s only 26%. Not a third. Wrong again.

So it turns out that they didn’t get any of their statistics correct — except the 14% figure.

But let’s go ahead and humor them a little bit. Let’s remove “intimidation” from the totals and see what happens:

  Hate Crime Incidents: All reported incidents Hate Crime Incidents: Minus “Intimidation”
Race 4,691 56% 3,165 54%
Religion 1,314 16% 974 17%
Sexual Orientation 1,171 14% 870 15%
Ethnicity 1,144 14% 782 13%
Disability 53 <1% 45 <1%
Multiple Bias 7 <1% 5 <1%
TOTAL 8,380   5,841  

Did you notice what happened? The percentage of hate crimes based on sexual orientation actually went up when “intimidation” was removed from the statistics — as does the percentage of hate crimes based on religion. That’s right, it gets worse without “intimidation.” And why is that? Well, it turns out that while “intimidation” makes up 26% of all hate crime incidents reported both for sexual orientation and religion, it makes up 33% of all hate crime incidents for race and 32% for national origin.

In other words, victims of sexual orientation-motivated hate crime incidents are just as likely to claim “intimidation” as are victims of religously-motivated hate crime incidents.

But that doesn’t really matter because when it comes to the proposed federal hate crimes legislation that the TVC, Concerned Women and Focus are so upset about, the whole “name calling” thing is not just a red herring. The proposed legislation only applies to violent crimes — murders, assaults, kidnappings, rapes, etc. It doesn’t even apply to property crimes or intimidation. And I don’t expect you to take my word for it. The bill’s text is online so you can see for yourself.

It’s time for everyone, including those espousing “traditional values”, “families” and “concerned women” everywhere to just stop lying about what hate crimes are all about and simply debate the issue on its merits. That, however, appears to be something they are utterly incapable of doing.

Comments are closed for this post.

Latest Posts

A Very Short Post

Another video

Premiere of "If It's Wednesday, It's Exgay"

Soulforce Equality Riders

Baby Steps at BYU

A "Love Won Out" Makeover?

Danish Epidemiologist Morton Frisch Slams Cameron's "Scandinavian Gay Lifespan" Study

"Thought Crimes"

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.