According to data collected by the FBI, LGBTQIA+ people top Jewish and Muslim Americans as the primary targets of hate crimes in the US.
In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting this month, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton believes these statistics need to be addressed to prevent similar tragedies taking place.
“Prayers aren’t enough,” she tells the Advocate. “We should strengthen and expand the collection of data around gender identity, sexual orientation, and hate crimes in order to address this issue in a smart, effective way.
“And we all need to call out discrimination and hateful rhetoric whenever and wherever it occurs.”
The most recent FBI figures on the victims of hate crimes were complied in 2014 and show that LGBT+ people have overtaken members of the Jewish community who were the most targeted population a decade ago.
Furthermore, there are fears that numbers aren’t an accurate representation of the number of crimes as some victims prefer not to be identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual, and transgender victims are sometimes misgendered in reports.
Clinton also believes tighter gun control laws are paramount, and is in favour of universal background checks and the banning of gun sales to people suspected of terrorism on the government’s “no-fly” list.
Describing gun violence as an “epidemic” in America, she says: “Weapons of war have no place on our streets.”