This past year, violence across the world was at an all-time high. Whether it was because of racism, White supremacy ideology, gang violence, religious crimes, or LGBTQ hate crimes, violence has been frequent and consistently traumatic for American society. 

Hate crimes were reported at an all-time high rising from 530 in 2019 to 635 in 2020. The rate of violence also grew from 65 percent to 68 percent, which is the highest since 2003. 

In California, hate crimes rose 33 percent, with homophobia and racism driving the surge. Attorney General Rob Bonta said that crimes against Black people were again the most prevalent in 2021, climbing 13 percent from 2020 to 513 reported incidents. Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias increased nearly 50 percent to 303 incidents.

“One hard truth in our state, just as we see across the nation, is that the epidemic of hate we saw spurred on during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat,” said Bonta at a recent news conference. “Each of these incidents represents an attack on a person, a neighbor, a family member, a fellow Californian.”

There was also a situation where a White supremacist group, The Proud Boys, harassed and threatened a drag queen during a book event at the San Lorenzo Library in the Bay Area, with kids in attendance. They screamed out homophobia and racial slurs. 

“This one was quite aggressive and threatened a bomb, so we took it seriously and called the police,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “The police came out, and it all checked out. But, it was definitely scary.”

LGBTQ community groups said the incidents were more than just threats and intimidation, they crossed the line to domestic terrorism. 

“They want to silence our community, they are afraid of our community and therefore use terrorism to try to invoke fear in our community,” said Stephen Torres from Castro LGBTQ Cultural District. According to the report written by Christien Kafton via Fox 2. 

With the recent passing of travel restrictions, Bonta hopes for a decrease in hate crimes against the LGBTQ community.

“Make no mistake: There is a coordinated, ongoing attack on transgender rights happening all across the country,” said Bonta. “Blanket legislation targeting transgender children is a ‘solution’ in search of a problem. It is detached from reality and directly undermines the well-being of our LGBTQ+ community. 

During this pride month and all year round, we’re committed to standing up against discrimination in all its forms. California restricts state-funded travel to Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, and Utah. As mandated under AB 1887, we’re putting our money where our values are.”

AB 1887 prohibits a state agency, department, board, or commission from requiring any state employees, officers, or members to travel to a state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law that (1) has the effect of voiding or repealing existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; (2) authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; or (3) creates an exemption to anti-discrimination laws in order to permit discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. 

#Stopthehate #CDSS 

This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly’s #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. 

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