A new report by the Human Relations Commission of Los Angeles County reports that hate crimes based on sexual orientation increased in the county by nine percent in 2007.

The report, titled 2007 Hate Crime Report, tallied last year's figure as the highest in the last five years – a 28% increase in reported hate crime compared to the prior year.

Robin S. Toma, the commission's executive director, found the new study “troubling.” “...this rise in hate crimes runs contrary to a drop in general crime in Los Angeles County in 2007 compared to 2006,” Toma said in a prepared statement.

Hate crimes based on sexual orientation were second only to racially motivated crimes.

There were 111 reported hate crimes against gays and lesbians last year, up nine percent from 2006. Of those, 92% targeted gay men and 8% lesbians.

A particularly gruesome hate crime included in the report occurred in June of 2007 in south Los Angeles: “Two black males and two black females attacked two Latina lesbians waiting at a bus stop. The suspects drove up in a van and told the victims 'Fuck you bitches! Bunch of gay bitches! What's up? I'm going to get out and hit you lesbian bitches. Let me see you smile one more time before I hit you in the mouth!' The suspects then exited their vehicle and beat up the victims.”

Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation also have the dubious honor of being the most violent (76%) – higher than racial or religious crimes.