CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Large increase in hate crimes, many targeting the LGBTQ community

May 31, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:32 am

BYU students LGBTQ...

The Department of Public Safety reports there were 134 hate crimes committed last year. Many of those came against members of the LGTBQ community. (Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Department of Public Safety reports there were 134 hate crimes last year. Of these, 42 targeted LGBTQ people, and that number has almost doubled in the past two years.

Jessica Dummar, CEO of the Utah Pride Center, said those numbers come after a 2019 law that now requires a place for hate crimes to be reported.

“We are reporting because we have a statute that protect us,” Dummar said. “And still hate crimes are going up because of the rhetoric around the dehumanization of the LGBTQ community.”

According to Dummar, these crimes can vary from steeling a pride flag t0 forcing conversion therapy. However, she said in order for them to stop, we must acknowledge them.

“It’s really hard to solve anything whenever you view whether or not someone is human,” she said. 

Dummar said ignoring the challenges faced LGBTQ community is putting those people at risk.

“If someone’s humanity is up for debate and we’re not going to even address the problems that they face in their experience in life, that’s where the problem is,” she said. “We all need to accept that LGBTQ communities are at risk.”

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Large increase in hate crimes, many targeting the LGBTQ community