DETROIT (WWJ) – New numbers from the FBI show a drop in hate crimes across the nation. The FBI reports there were 6,200 incidents in 2011, down from over 6,600 the year before.
Equality Michigan spokesman Gregory Varnum says the numbers don’t the tell the story for gays in Michigan. Varnum says incidents of violence against gays are not down.
“There was just a minor fender bender and a lesbian couple was assaulted by the friends of the people who were in the vehicle that hit them – and they were assaulted because they looked too masculine – they looked too much like men,” said Varnum.
Varnum says there were 22 reports of violence against gays in Michigan last year.
“We’ve had a lesbian couple whose home was burned to the ground, after having some anti-LGBT commentary posted on their home. We’ve had some other instances of beatings outside popular gay bars of people attacking attendees specifically for being LGBT,” said Varnum.
He said over a ten-year period the reported instances have seen a slight decline in Michigan. There is usually a spike in reports when hot-bottom issues like gay marriage are in the news.