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Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian and Gay People in Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

NCJ Number
Date Published
34 pages
This study examines violence and discrimination against lesbian women and gay men in Pennsylvania.
The study sample is predominantly white, highly educated, and the average age is thirty-five. Since these people are among those in society least likely to be victimized, the study findings underestimate the actual levels of discrimination and violence experienced by the general lesbian and gay population in Pennsylvania. Lesbian and gay people continue to experience widespread discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, despite the existence of legal safeguards in some cities. Fear of discrimination and consequent concealment of sexual orientation are pervasive throughout the gay community. Lesbian and gay people continue to be singled out for violent victimization at rates far beyond those experienced by the general U.S. adult population. Anti-gay and anti-lesbian violence and harassment by police officers, teachers, classmates, and family members continue to occur at alarmingly high rates. Policy recommendations include the enactment of civil rights legislation, AIDS-related legislation and training, comprehensive legislation to combat bias crime, and training programs in education, law enforcement, State government, and social service agencies. Charts and case studies.