Saturday, June 30, 2007

Violence Against Gay and Lesbians

Pam's right in noting that this study inappropriately neglects the trans community. It does, however, provide more evidence that just being gay brings the prospect of violence. Support the Matthew Shepard Act.

From the article (check out the frightening stats I've put bold):
Nearly four in 10 gay men and about one in eight lesbians and bisexuals in the United States have been the target of violence or a property crime because of their sexual orientation, according to a new study by UC Davis psychology professor Gregory Herek.

"This is the most reliable estimate to date of the prevalence of anti-gay victimization in the United States," Herek said. "The data demonstrate that crimes against sexual minority adults, especially gay men, are disturbingly widespread."

Herek's findings were based on a survey he conducted in the fall of 2005 with a nationally representative sample of 662 self-identified gay men, lesbians and bisexuals. The study will be published in a future issue of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Overall, 21 percent of the people in the survey reported being the victim of violence or a property crime - including physical assault, sexual assault, theft and vandalism - because of their sexual orientation. In addition, 49 percent said they had been verbally abused because of their sexual orientation, 23 percent reported being threatened with violence, 12.5 percent reported having objects thrown at them, and 11 percent reported housing or job discrimination.

This study comes on the heels of a study finding that 15-43% of LGB people and 20-57% of transgender people have experienced workplace discrimination.