ADL, GLAAD: Anti-LGBTQ incidents spiked in last year

The rise in attacks happened alongside the rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from politicians.

NEW YORK – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and GLAAD reported in June that there were more than 350 anti-LGBTQ incidents from June 2022 to April 2023.

The organizations’ report, Year in Review: Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate & Extremism Incidents, recorded a total of 356 anti-LGBTQ incidents between June 2022 and April 2023, including 305 acts of harassment, 40 acts of vandalism, and 11 incidents of assault.

The report charts the rise in incidents alongside the record number of anti-LGBTQ bills and rising rhetoric.

“This new report makes abundantly clear that extremism is escalating against LGBTQ people and endangers every American,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “A supermajority of Americans support LGBTQ people and our right to be safe. Extremists, including elected officials, must be held accountable for inciting violence and using vile rhetoric against marginalized people who just want to live in safety and peace. Targeting people for who they are, or for their race and faith, is an attack on fundamental freedoms, and the health and well-being of all in our country.”

Findings include:

  • Nearly half of all incidents (49%) were perpetrated wholly or substantially by individuals associated with extremist groups.
  • Incidents were documented across 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, with California, Florida, New York, and Texas seeing the highest total number of incidents.
  • Anti-LGBTQ incidents often overlapped with other forms of hate, with at least 128 incidents also citing antisemitic tropes and 30 incidents also citing racist tropes. 
  • Trends in target type were also recorded, with perpetrators most frequently targeting drag events and performers (138 incidents), schools and educators (33 incidents), healthcare facilities and providers (23 incidents) and government buildings and elected officials (22 incidents). 
  • The false “groomer” conspiracy theory was the most-cited anti-LGBTQ trope, with at least 191 anti-LGBTQ incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault making explicit references to “grooming” or “pedophilia.”

The ADL noted this is only based on reported incidents. Both organizations called on lawmakers to protect LGBTQ, faith-based and vulnerable communities.

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