Extremists involved in half of incidents from June 2022 to April 2023; drag events targeted; false rhetoric against LGBTQ people connected to more than half of reported incidents
New York, NY, June 22, 2023 ... ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and the national LGBTQ+ organization GLAAD have released a first-of-its-kind report tracking extremist and non-extremist acts of harassment, vandalism and assault motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ hate. The report identifies more than 350 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault over an eleven-month period beginning in June 2022, directly coinciding with a disturbing increase in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislation.
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.
“This first-of-its-kind report provides a sobering snapshot of the deluge of hatred the LGBTQ+ community faces every single day, sparked in large part by organized extremist activity,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “We hope these stark findings serve as a wakeup call to lawmakers, civil society leaders, and community leaders to stand up to this onslaught of hate and support our LGBTQ+ community.”
“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.”
Major 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), health care 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.”
- Despite these concerning figures, this report only captures publicly reported incidents and incidents directly reported to ADL and GLAAD. Since many anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism incidents go unreported, the true numbers are likely far higher.
As both organizations continue to monitor anti-LGBTQ+ activity, ADL and GLAAD are calling on lawmakers to protect LGBTQ+, faith-based and other targeted communities from hate. U.S. representatives and senators are being urged to increase funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides marginalized communities with the resources they need to make their physical spaces safer.
The Year in Review: Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate & Extremism Incidents is comprised of criminal, non-criminal, extremist and non-extremist incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault as reported to and identified by ADL from victim reports, the media and partner organizations.
The data used in this report is also available via ADL’s H.E.A.T Map, an interactive online tool that allows users to geographically target anti-LGBTQ+ incidents and extremist activity.
GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance Report, released earlier this month, found that:
- 91% supermajority of non-LGBTQ Americans agree that LGBTQ people should have the freedom to live their life and not be discriminated against
- 84% supermajority of non-LGBTQ Americans support equal rights for the LGBTQ community
ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For nearly 40 years, GLAAD has been at the forefront of cultural change, accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community. More at glaad.org.