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Hate Crimes Against Gays and Lesbians Rising in US

antly different rates of victimization among gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.

More than a third of the gay men said they had experienced violence or property crime because of their sexual orientation, or about three times the proportion of lesbians and bisexuals.

Gay men also reported the highest rates of harassment and verbal abuse. And gay men and lesbians reported two to four times more housing and job discrimination than bisexuals.

The disparities persisted after Herek controlled statistically for age, race, ethnicity and education he said.

"Men are generally more likely than women to be the targets of most kinds of violent crime, and this pattern seems to hold in anti-gay hate crimes as well," Herek said.

"The gay men and lesbians in the study were much more likely than the bisexual men and women to be open about their sexual orientation. Their greater visibility probably also makes them easier targets for discrimination than bisexuals."

In the new study, survey respondents had an average age of 39. Most had attended some college. Two thirds were white, 16 percent black and 12.5 percent Hispanic.

Legislation that would add gays and lesbians to the categories included under federal hate crime law is currently before Congress.

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed the House last month and is pending in the Senate.

The White House has threatened to veto the measure if it passes.


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