Vandalism and violence targeting U.S. LGBT+ centers spikes

A wave of hate incidents targeting LGBT+ community centers is taking place, NBC News reports.

Centers in Washington D.C., Tulsa, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and many other cities have been targeted by violent walk-ins, smashed windows, and anti-LGBT+ graffiti in recent months.

New York’s Anti-Violence Project (AVP) has identified a “surge” of hate violence and incidents since the 2016 election. AVP Communications Director Sue Yacka told NBC News she sees a connection between direct attacks on LGBTQ community venues and the more than 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation that have been proposed in just the first few weeks of 2017.

“It’s a message that we shouldn’t be in public, that we should be hidden away, that we should hide our identities,” Yacka said. “You use legislation and intimidation and violence to make this happen, to try and make people go away. But we are not going away.”

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