Anti-LGBTQ hate incidents continue to rise in California

The 2023 Hate Crimes in California report was just released, highlighting data and resources to combat hate against multiple groups including the LGBTQ community. The report says anti-LGBTQ incidents increased by more than 86% from 2022.

"I’m not surprised by the findings because we’ve been experiencing it at the Billy De Frank LGBTQ+ Center as well," said Gabrielle Antolovich, Board President of the Billy De Frank LGBTQ+ Center in San Jose

Antolovich says the hate against multiple communities has been gaining ground for nearly two decades.

"This is a reflection, I believe, since Barack Obama became president. There was a backlash immediately about race, about minorities, about immigrants, about LGBTQ's. So, it has been rolling down," said Antolovich. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta released the hate crimes report this week. Overall, hate crimes decreased by over 7% from 2022 to 2023 but hate events or incidents continue to rise. Hate incidents are actions or behaviors motivated by hate, like name-calling, insults or distributing hate material in public places. Bonta released a statement, saying in part: 

"While it is heartening to see an overall decrease in hate crimes in 2023, some of our communities, including our LGBTQ+, Jewish and Muslim communities, continue to be targeted and endangered by hate at alarming rates. I urge everyone to review the data and resources available and recommit to standing united against hate." - CA Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta

The hate crime report also says anti-transgender bias incidents increased by 10.2%. As Pride month celebrations come to an end, Antolovich says they haven’t lost sight of what they must do.

"In a weird sort of way, this is our challenge. That we embrace what is happening in an organized manner and that we will keep moving forward," said Antolovich. 

Antolovich says the Center is encouraging people to vote in November, when enshrining marriage equality in the state’s constitution will be on the ballot. For information about reporting a hate crime, click here