[Press Release: Hate Crimes] Page: 3 of 8
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assaulted at least once in their lives because of their sexual
orientation. Anti-gay assaults were also found to be widespread
in studies conducted in Utah, Seattle, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
"The rise in reported episodes reflects a variety of
factors, including revised documentation methods and greater
reporting by victims," said NGLTF's Berrill. "But a major factor
is the violent backlash against increasing gay and lesbian
visibility and activism that, paradoxically, also have helped
reduce prejudice and foster greater acceptance for gays.
Berrill pointed out that anti-gay violence in 1990 occurred
in a context of reported widespread attacks against Jews, women,
and Arab-Americans and other people of color.
Examples of Anti-Gay Hate Crimes
A variety of anti-gay incidents were reported to NGLTF from
across the U.S. in 1990, including:
-- In an anti-gay attack July 2 in Queens, N.Y., a Latino
gay man was bludgeoned and stabbed to death.
-- On May 12 in Seattle, members of a wnite supremacist
group attempted to bomb a gay dance bar on a busy night.
-- In Worcester, Mass., a lesbian couple was the target of
repeated acts of vandalism by a group of local teenagers, who
wrote anti-lesbian graffiti on the victims' house and car,
slashed tires and threatened to kill their dog.
-- Screaming "faggot" and "queer," four skinheads attacked
two gay men with fists and bottles on August 20 in San Francisco.
-- On May 8 at Central Connecticut State College, students
shouting anti-gay slurs attacked two gay men, kicking in the
teeth of one of the victims.
-- In May, the manager of a single room occupancy hotel in
N.Y. harassed and assaulted a gay man with AIDS who lived there
and said, "Fucking AIDS faggot, get out of this hotel."
Campaign to Count and Counter HateCrimes
As part of the release of its report, NGLTF launched the
"Campaign to Count and Counter Hate Crimes." Press conferences,
rallies, whistle-blows, and other events were held at some 17
cities and 10 colleges on March 6 to kick off the campaign.
Several public officials appeared at the events, including
Robert Abrams, N.Y. attorney general; Scott Harshbarger,
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National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. [Press Release: Hate Crimes], text, April 6, 1991; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc851914/m1/3/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.