What’s hate crime and hate speech?
Unlike hate crime, hate speech involves spreading expression which incites hatred and discrimination, towards a particular group, whilst hate crime involves a crime committed towards someone due to being part of a group.
What’s LGBT-phobic hate crime and speech?
LGBT-phobic hate crime and hate speech can be hate speech or violence that’s geared towards LGBT people, due to their perceived or actual gender or sexual orientation. This includes homophobic and transphobic slurs and hate crime.
Why should we focus on LGBT-phobic hate crime and speech?
It’s important to focus on LGBT-phobic hate crime and speech, because it undermines the social status of such groups, and also sends out a negative message to the LGBT communities and allies. By allowing LGBT-phobic hate crime and speech to go on, such crimes against the LGBT community are legitimised, and implies that such groups do not deserve equality and respect.
What are the statistics?
According to the FRA’s 2013 studies:
- 66% of LGBT people were afraid of holding hands with their partner in public.
- 26% LGBT people had experienced violence or threats of violence.
Why are LGBT crimes under reported?
There are many reasons why such crimes go unreported, these include:
- They may think the authorities won’t help them. A study conducted in 2010 by the FRA found that 50% of LGBT people who’d experienced LGBT-phobic crimes didn’t report it, because they thought the police would do nothing.
- Many LGBT people may not report the crime out of fear of their sexual orientation or gender will be outed.
What are the European institutions doing?
European institutions are taking measures to combat LGBT hate and speech crimes:
- The EU directive recognises the nature of LGBT crimes and the personal characteristics of such victims.
- The OSCE is working on tackling such crimes, and have been conducting studies into the nature of LGBT-phobic crimes.
- The Council of Europe have brought in measures to tackle LGBT phobic crimes, and are creating new procedures to ensure that victims are better protected.