Although hate crimes nationwide against gays and lesbians decreased nearly 8 percent last year nationwide, the number of hate crimes involving assaults dramatically increased in San Francisco where the overall crime number remained the same. The survey noted increases in hate crimes in five of the eleven cities surveyed, including Minneapolis, Phoenix, El Paso and Columbus, Ohio. Declines were found in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland. In 1995, San Francisco showed a dramatic increase in hate crimes against gays and lesbians, with the Community United Against Violence reporting 324 incidents and the San Francisco police reporting 144, a discrepancy which underscores the fact that anti- gay/lesbian violence is underreported.
In a separate development, four Bay Area congregations were expelled from a Western association of Baptist Churches because they open their doors to gays without attempting to reform them. The congregations plan to appeal the decision which would mean a loss of financial support that pays for training, guidance, preschool and other programs. According to Kay Wellington, pastor of the San Leandro Community Church said what’s worse is that the severing disowns church members — many of whom are gays, divorced people, and battered women — who have already been rejected in other faiths.