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Demands for Action After New Report Reveals LGBTQ Homicides Skyrocketed Under Trump

Critics condemn "atmosphere of hate," bolstered by Trump's anti-LGBTQ policies, that led to more than 50 hate-violence homicides in 2017

Donald Trump

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump called himself a "friend" to LGBTQ individuals, but since taking office he has introduced several policies targeting the community. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

"The time for addressing this crisis of violence is now," delcares a new report that shows the number of hate-inspired homicides with LGBTQ victims skyrocketed in the United States last year amid an onslaught of anti-LBGTQ policies from the Trump administration.

A Crisis of Hate (pdf), produced by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) in New York City, found that at least 52 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals were killed, in part, because of their gender or sexual identity in 2017, an 86 percent increase in single incident reports from the year prior, and the highest number ever documented by the group.

Anti-LGBTQ Homicides Since 2012

"For too long, legislators have not taken meaningful or effective steps to address the increase of hate violence in this country," the report further declares, urging Americans to call their representatives, and eliciting calls to actions from other LGBTQ groups and advocates.

Some observers pointed to actions by President Donald Trump and his administration in 2017, including the Education Department's refusual to protect trans students, the Justice Department's numerous moves to enable discrimination in the name of "religoius freedom," and Trump's decisions to ban trans individuals from military service and dismiss his entire advisory council for HIV/AIDS.

More than half of those killed last year were victims of gun violence—including three people shot by police officers—and the majority of victims were people of color. Of the 52 documented homicides, 22 victims were transgender women of color.

NCAVP's annual reports have revealed a "consistent and steady" rise in hate-violence killings with transgender or gender-nonconforming victims; last year, the group documented 27 such killings, which echoes findings from another report published in November that determined 2017 was the deadliest year ever for trans Americans.

The report notes that "the number of homicides is likely higher as some homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people are not documented because of misidentification of victims' sexual orientation or gender identity," and "motives related to anti-LGBTQ bias can be difficult to discern as media and law enforcement are often reluctant to say that a homicide is related to bias."

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