The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people killed in bias-motivated incidents increased by 28 percent in 2008 compared to a year ago, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. (Via MSNBC.)

“What we’re also seeing, more disturbingly, is the increase in the severity of violence,” said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates coalition.

According to MSNBC:

Overall, the number of victims who reported anti-LGBT violence in 2008 increased by 2 percent compared to 2007, said the New York-based coalition of programs in 25 states.

Coalition officials say their figures are more accurate than those from law enforcement agencies. As an example, they say, the FBI doesn’t record bias crimes against transgender people because gender identity isn’t covered by federal hate-crime law.

Also, victims sometimes are reluctant to report bias incidents to police because they don’t want to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity and/or they fear bias from police, officials said.

Reports of physical abuse by police increased to 25 incidents last year from 10 in 2007, the report said.

According to NCAVP:

Reports of violence in Milwaukee increased 64% and Minnesota and Chicago saw increases of 48% and 42%, respectively.

The number of reported killings and violent incidents against ex-gays was zero.