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Anti-gay killings increased in 2011: report

Incidents of hate-based murders against LGBT individuals in the US increased in 2011, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF] Thursday. The annual report, entitled "Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-affected Communities in the U.S. in 2011," found that 30 LGBT individuals were killed in 2011 in hate-based murders, the highest number that the NCAVP has recorded. The number of murders against LGBT people has increased in each of the past three years. The NCAVP attributes this increase in murders to "a continuing increase in the severity of violence facing [LGBT] communities." Despite these troubling findings, however, the report also indicated that incidents of hate-based violence against LGBT individuals have decreased by 16 percent over the past year, from 2,503 in 2010 to 2,092 in 2011.

Last year UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that hate crimes against LGBT people are on the rise worldwide [JURIST report]. In the US, some measures have been taken to stop hate crimes against LGBT individuals. Last spring US lawmakers introduced legislation to protect LGBT students [JURIST report] in federally funded public elementary and high schools from bullying. In 2009 US President Barack Obama signed into law [JURIST report] a bill that contained a measure extending the definition of federal hate crimes to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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