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Seattle Mayor Reflects on Gun Violence As City Among Highest in Antigay Crimes

By Michelle Garcia

While Seattle and Washington, D.C., are two cities with thriving LGBT communities, they're also two of the larger American cities with the highest incidents of hate crimes committed against LGBT people, according to the Seattle Times.

The Times's news librarian Gene Balk evaluated the 2012 crime rates in American cities with populations of at least 200,000 people, as reported by the FBI. The city in the U.S. with the most anti-LGBT hate crime incidents is Washington, D.C., with 7.3 such crimes per 100,000 people. That was followed by Memphis with 3.2, Seattle with 3, Buffalo, N.Y. with 2.7, and Kansas City with 2.6.

Balk found that bias crimes based on sexual orientation in Seattle tripled between 2011 and 2012, and the figure did not count an anti-LGBT hate crime that occurred at the University of Washington, as it was listed separately in FBI data. He also noted that Boston, which reported the highest rate in 2011, did not report any data to the FBI in 2012.

This week, two gay men Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, were shot on their way home from a club in Seattle. Though the motive for the shooting is still being investigated, authorities have not ruled out the possibility that this was a hate crime.

Mayor Ed Murray, who is openly gay, attended a vigil for the two men, and spoke about gun violence in his city, including the fatal shooting at Seattle Pacific University.

“If we don’t start to change the laws in this state, and in this country, about who owns a gun," Murray said, according to The Stranger, "and how many guns are out there illegally, then the sort of tragedy we’ve seen this week, with three deaths, will not change."

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