While California is known as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly states in the nation, hate crimes are rising and other troubling trends persist, according to a new “State of Pride Report” issued by California’s Attorney General.
The report, which was released Tuesday and coincides with Pride month, looked at data and surveys on issues ranging from mental health to public policy.
Between 2021 and 2022, there were over 391 reported hate crime events motivated by sexual orientation bias in California, an increase of 29% over the previous period, the report states.
45 crimes were motivated by anti-transgender or “anti-gender non-conforming bias” in 2022 – an increase of 55%
The Attorney General’s report also says LGBTQ+ children are victimized and bullied at rates four times higher than non-LGBTQ+ children, and nearly half of all gay youth seriously considered suicide in 2022.
“As a committed LGBTQ+ ally, I firmly believe that everyone deserves to be safe, healthy, prosperous, and celebrated for who they are – regardless of how they identify or who they love,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta, adding that his office is “working tirelessly” to fight hate crime through a community engagement campaign he launched in 2021.
U.S. Census data show that roughly 2.7 million, or 9.1% of California adults, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, representing the largest percentage of the nation’s most populated states.
Oregon has the highest share with 12.3%. Mississippi and South Dakota have the lowest at 5%.
The national average is 7.9%.
Bonta says 2022 was a record-breaking year for anti-LGBTQ legislation nationwide with over 200 bills drafted in more than 40 states aimed to “codify discrimination” in classrooms, sports, healthcare, and public spaces.
“Discrimination against any of us paves the way for discrimination against us all,” Bonta said. “As this country faces an explosion of state legislation targeting LGBTQ+ Americans, it’s more important than ever that we fight homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination not just in our own communities, but across the country.”
Tap here to read the full report.