Tuesday, June 15, 2010
For years, we’ve been told by Canadians that our neighbor to the north is far and away more tolerant and accepting of gay and lesbian people. Canadians love to point to the legalization of gay marriage in Canada as proof of their superiority. But, violent crime is on the increase across Canada, with gay men as the victims of many of the most vicious attacks.
Police services are reporting a big jump in hate crimes, and they say gay men are being targeted more often and in the most violent incidents.
But Statistics Canada says the numbers could be more a result of better reporting than of increased violence.
The agency said police logged 1,036 hate crimes in 2008, up 35 per cent from 2007.
Just over half (55 per cent) were motivated by race or ethnicity, 26 per cent by religion and 16 per cent by sexual orientation.
The agency says all three major categories of hate crime increased in 2008, but the largest increase was among crimes motivated by sexual orientation, which more than doubled from 2007 to 2008.
Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were also the most violent: 75 per cent were violent compared with 38 per cent of racially-motivated incidents and 25 per cent of religiously motivated incidents.
Among violent incidents motivated by sexual orientation, 85 per cent of the victims were male.
Helen Kennedy, executive director of EGALE, echoed that sentiment.
”We know that close to 75 per cent of these crimes go unreported,” she said.