[Press release: New report shows violence and victimization against lesbians and gay men surges in key U.S. cities] Page: 1 of 16
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N A T I O N A L G A Y & L E S B I A N T A S K F O R C E
CONTACT: Robert Bray or Kevin Berrill, (202)332-6483
NEW REPORT SHOWS VIOLENCE AND VICTIMIZATION
AGAINST LESBIANS AND GAY MEN SURGES IN KEY U.S. CITIES
DEFAMATION IN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, BASIC INSTINCT MOVIE CITED
"PROFOUND DESTRUCTIVENESS" OF BASHING SPARKS OUTCRY
Washington, D.C., March 19, 1992...Violence against gay men and
lesbians is pervasive around the nation, surging in key U.S.
cities, and is having a "profoundly destructive" impact on gay
people and society in general, says a new report released today
by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Findings in the seventh annual NGLTF Policy Institute
report, Anti-Gay/Lesbian Violence, Victimization and Defamation
in 1991, reveal a disturbing increase in attacks on gay people in
five major urban areas around the country. In addition, the
report cites examples of 1992 presidential campaign defamation by
Patrick Buchanan and others, and negative portrayals of
homosexuals in Hollywood movies -- including Basic Instinct -- as
fueling anti-gay prejudice.
A total of 1,822 incidents -- including harassment, threats,
physical assaults, vandalism, arson, police abuse and murder --
were reported to agencies in New York, Boston, Chicago,
Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Francisco. The incidents represent
a 31 percent increase over 1990 in the same cities.
Among the most serious incidents that increased were anti-
gay murders, which more than doubled. Last year, eight people
were killed for being gay, up from three in 1990. Physical
assaults, or "gay bashings," leaped 15 percent and acts of police
abuse jumped 29 percent.
"Anti-gay and lesbian violence continues to be a widespread
and critical problem, provoked by official gay bashing in
politics and popular culture," said Kevin Berrill, National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force Anti-Violence Project director and author
of the report. "Each attack sends a message of hatred and terror
intended to silence and render invisible not only the victim but
all gay people.
"Unchecked, these crimes of hate create an atmosphere of
fear and intolerance that undermines not only the gay community,
but the democratic and pluralistic foundation of our society."
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1734 Fourteenth Street, NW + Washington, DC 20009-4309 + 202-332-6483
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.). [Press release: New report shows violence and victimization against lesbians and gay men surges in key U.S. cities], text, March 19, 1992; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc916298/m1/1/: accessed November 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.