Garrett, Katherine R. “A Love-Hate Relationship”, Boston College, 2023. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109723.
Oddly, as acceptance of LGBT+ individuals continues to rise in the United States, the number of reported anti-LGBT+ hate crimes also rises (McCarthy 2022, Author’s calculations from Uniform Crime Reporting data). Could this be the result of a violent backlash against the legalization of same-sex marriage? This paper investigates this love-hate relationship using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’s Uniform Crime Reporting system. Utilizing a collection of difference-in- differences regressions, this analysis compares the number of reported anti-LGBT+ hate crimes in a state before and after that state’s legalization of same sex marriage. The results suggest that states have a higher number of reported hate crimes per month after their legalization of same-sex marriage when controlling for population. A placebo regression shows that this effect is not found with other kinds of hate crimes. Two potential explanations for this finding are explored: firstly, that reporting of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes in a state becomes more reliable after that state’s legalization of same-sex marriage or, alternatively, that the number of hate crimes committed against LGBT+ individuals rises.