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LGBTQ people are frequent targets of bias-motivated crimes (i.e., hate crimes). This entry addresses the topic of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. First, the entry provides a legal definition of hate crimes, maintaining a global perspective on how this legal definition is constructed. Second, the entry presents data from official legal sources that outline the characteristics and prevalence of bias crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Defining Hate Crimes

Hate crimes, also called “bias crimes,” are a 20th-century legal concept that has emerged primarily in the United States, Commonwealth countries, and Europe. Despite variation in definition, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights outline two basic features of bias crimes: (1) ...

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