by the FBI show anti-gay motivated hate crimes have increased,
the AP reported.
The report released Monday shows an
overall 2% increase in reported hate crimes in 2008. The largest
increase were those motivated by sexual orientation (11%), followed
by religion (9%).
Hate motivated crimes include property
damage, intimidation and physical attacks.
The report cautioned that the increase
in hate crimes could be due to more agencies tracking such incidents.
The number of agencies tracking hate crimes rose from 2,025 in 2007
to 2,145 last year.
Seven out of the 7,783 hate crime
incidents reported to the FBI were murders.
Half of all hate crimes are motivated
by race, but such incidents dropped by 1% last year, according to the
The report comes a month after
President Obama signed new hate crimes legislation that adds sexual
orientation and gender identity to the list of federal hate crimes.
The law also authorizes the federal government to assist local
authorities in investigating such incidents.
The FBI began collecting data on
anti-gay motivated hate crimes in 1991. The agency said it would
begin tracking crimes based on gender and gender identity
(transgender) bias as a result of the new law.