FBI’s hate crimes report leaves out Georgia incidents related to gender identity

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday released its 2016 Hate Crimes Statistics report showing 12 incidents in Georgia motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation and no incidents in the state motivated by a victim’s gender identity. But statewide LGBT advocacy group Georgia Equality is advising people not to assume that’s because no such crimes occurred.

Rather, law enforcement agencies in Georgia are not required under federal or state law to report such incidents to the FBI, therefore they go unreported. The group said that in the coming 2018 Georgia General Assembly, it will be working with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to support passage of a statewide hate crime law.

“Few public safety departments in Georgia report crimes related to gender identity,” said Georgia Equality Gender Inclusion Organizer Chanel Haley in a press release. “Georgia needs a hate crime law that mandates reporting so that public safety departments would be compelled to have transgender cultural competency training and be better equipped to know how to service and protect all Georgians, which includes transgender residents. This law would help the transgender community in Georgia feel safer and more secure.”

The ADL’s Senior Associate Regional Director Shelley Rose added, “While we cannot outlaw anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, transphobia or other forms of bigotry, we can significantly improve hate crime response in Georgia by joining the 45 other states and the District of Columbia in putting hate crime legislation on the books.”

The report also listed 25 incidents motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry, two motivated by religion and none motivated by disability or gender.