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Running Head: TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 1

Tolerance of the LGBT in Society: Hate Crime in Society

Kevawn Lucario, Tyra Bradley, Shanice Guy, Courtney Usher & Erwin Wills

Saint Johns College Junior College


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 2

Abstract
The purpose of this research is to determine whether low tolerance of the LGBT will

correlate with negative dispositions of them and high amounts of hate crime. The research took a

quantitative approach as well as a qualitative one in order to figure out the underlying feelings of

participants towards the topic at hand. The research made use of primary and secondary

resources which included the use of questionnaires, surveys, electronic documents, websites,

articles, journals and Sociology text books. The research concluded that indeed it was true that

participants had negative views of the LGBT, however, the correlation towards hate crime was

not present. Thus it was concluded that the hypothesis of the research was rejected and that

future research should be done in order to find a strong link for the cause of the negative view of

the LGBT.

Introduction
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 3

The purpose of this research is to gather information on how the society views the LGBT

and to see to what extent does low tolerance of the LGBT correlate with negative

dispositions towards them and hate crimes within society. Hate crimes are known as assaults

and other malicious acts, including crimes against poverty, motivated by various forms of bias,

including but not limited to those based on race, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin, or

disability (Mustapha, 2013). Although hate crimes against the LGBT is something new to

Caribbean country of Belize there have been some cases since the legislation gave rights to

LGBT. Unfortunately such information has yet to be documented into crime statistics. However,

incidents of crimes against the LGBT is something that other country face as well. Since 1991

the United States have faced more than 100,000 cases of hate crimes that were reported to the

EBI. In 2007, 1,265 LGBT based crimes were reported to the FBI as well. The amount looks

small by the numbers but LGBT based crimes are ranked as the third highest within the country

(Marzullo & Libman).

Low tolerance of the LGBT will be attributed to having negative claims and attitudes

towards anyone affiliated with the LGBT. As such, the research aims to identify whether there is

a link between low tolerance and if will result in negative views and hate crimes occurring in

society. Data will be collected using surveys and from documented data found electronically or

physically.

This research will allow people see if society truly holds bias claims against the LGBT

through ignorance and it also aims to enlighten people of the fact that members of the LGBT are

like any other citizen in any country and they shouldnt be treated any differently. If the

government aims to educate the public of this claim it would decrease the occurrence of hate

crimes and create a safe environment for people to be themselves.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 4

Literature Review
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 5

In conducting this research for the study, information was extracted from various articles,

news headlines, journals and internet sources. According to some news articles people still hold

negatives views of LGBT members and act irrationally. In fact one article came across a

transgender man who was attacked and beaten in Belize City. The 18 year old Vanesa

Champagne Paris born Porfelio Rodriguez was viciously attacked and beaten on the streets of

Belize by a mob of young men. The altercation started when Paris was walking on Vernon Street

and recognized by a fellow civilian as a man being dressed as a woman. When the person began

to use derogatory terms such as 'faggot' and 'battiman', Paris turned to him and argued that he

does not own the street. After that incident, the man alerted several other young men of what was

happening and they chased Paris who tried to hurriedly escape and was unsuccessful which

resulted in him being severely beaten (Ambergris Caye forum, 2014).

It is quite evident that the cause of the altercation was Paris' lifestyle being a transvestite.

The Belizean males couldn't accept another man portraying said behaviour and violently attacked

him. This hate crime is just one of many, from these reports it can be said that Belizeans males

are intolerable when it comes to members of the LGBT in Belize. To the point where it becomes

physical and they assault these individuals for leading the lifestyle they do.

Another article pointed out that individuals from the LGBT people group are the most

habitually focuses of derisive acts in Boston, enduring more attacks, dangers, and badgering than

any other social minority group. The quantity of announced violations a year ago against the

LGBT outperforms those for Muslims, Jews, Latinos, and Asians combined, Boston Police

Department figures revealed. Furthermore, it is a pattern that has all the earmarks of being

persevering. The most recent Boston police information indicate 275 hate crimes were accounted
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 6

for in 2016 down from 301 in 2015. Of that amount, around 33% were coordinated at

individuals from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender group.

Criminologists say national occasions can trigger a spike or drop in recorded hate crime

violations, yet rarely do such occasions influence all areas of the nation similarly. A prime

example would be Donald Trumps run for presidency which ignited a large hate for minority

groups such as Latinos and Muslims. Similarly it is thought that events can also trigger hatred

within society towards LGBT groups for specific periods of time. Never the less, crime statistics

can be unreliable due to the large amount of hate crimes that go unreported because of lack of

support and proper witness protection from authorities. The impact of this issue can be extremely

greater in Belize because of our small population size, victims are often pushed into silence

because of fear. Never the less, government offices provide steady and usable reports to work

with.

Similar to the previous article, there is another editorial entitled LG.B.T. People Are

More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes Than Any Other Minority Group. The title says it all

and the information compliments that very fact. According to the information that was provided,

it showed that people affiliated with the LGBT in 2014 are twice as likely to be targeted as

African-Americans, and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes against

Jews. Such claims made is in this article is proven true following the shooting incident in

Orlando at a gay night club where forty nine people were killed along with fifty three wounded.

It was debated whether this shooting was a hate crime or terrorism and while most thought it was

both the minority of beliefs that thought it was hate crime was higher than those who solely

believed it was terrorism. The article also highlighted another incident where a young

homosexual couple were assaulted days after their marriage and in March 2016, Elliot Morales
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 7

was convicted for the murder of Mark Carson, a young black homosexual male, Morales was

sentence forty years to life in prison (Park and Mykhyalyshyn, 2016).

This article reveals the reality of people who are affiliated with the LGBT, most of them

live in fear of being hurt and this is unfair to them. According to one researcher in the article, he

believed that the reason theses hate crime occur was due to the shifting of cultural values. Since

some people are unwilling to accept the change in society they lash out against the threat that

puts their normal life in danger. If things are like this in other countries Belize may pick up on

such behaviour and that would destroy the countrys equilibrium and plunge society into chaos.

Crime rates will rises and innocent people will be harmed if this were to occur, the public need to

be educated about such matters in order to prevent them from acting so irrationally.

Section 53: A Case of Adult Privacy and The best liars in Religion- Belizean LGBT

Rights Violation. On August 10th, 2016, the Supreme Court of Belize ruled that section 53 was

unconstitutional and read down the offending section to say, "This does not apply to consenting

sexual acts between adults in private." Wade, in his disappointment noted in a Facebook

commentary on August 18th that Cabinet and Caleb was Sodom and Gomorrah. This snapshot on

the left reveals exactly what he said while his fundamentalist colleagues revealed solutions that

included a referendum on section 53, a constitutional amendment on marriage, safeguarding the

education from LGBT Agenda, among others to correct concerns about the acknowledgement of

LGBT rights in Belize.

Furthermore, Wade and Stirm promoted a campaign of deception with the Belize

National Teachers, Utilities Union and the leader of the opposition. As a result, the Utilities

Union issued a Press Release on September 8th, calling on the government to,.." mount an

appeal, against the sections within the judgment which express issues of our freedom of
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 8

expression, and the meaning of gender to include sexual orientation." If they had spent any time

reading the judgment, they would have known that the term to be challenged was sex not gender.

Still they call for peace and no discrimination. The release further spoke to, ensuring democracy

prevails" and calls for members, "to take active measure to support the churches in our country.

With regards to the Belize National Teacher Union, they issued a press release as well. Except,

upon further investigation, it was the PR department of the Union which issued the release

without any consultation from teachers, expressing concern, "...For the sake of our children and

the nation, we urge that this request as a matter of national importance." How a case about adult

privacy jumped to safeguarding children in education is a comprehension process that must be

explained. Amazingly, the release spoke of," to ensure that this matter, is thoroughly ventilated."

The ventilation seem to be to ensure bigotry and fear mongering prevails, as an invitation was

never extended to the United Belize Advocacy Movement to explain the judgement.

In a bid to promote understanding of section 53, the Prime Minister of Belize very succinctly on

August 26th in the house explained unnatural crime, when he said, "...the order of nature has

been interpreted to mean a range of things... when I was a criminal lawyer ... against the order of

nature included as well oral sex." Alluding to the point that all Belizeans were unapprehend

felons and that section 53 was about adult privacy. For daring to stand up for my constitutional

rights and challenge the entitlement of Right-Wing fundamentalists groups like National

Evangelical Association of Churches in Belize, COLA and Leaders Alliance sought to organized

two protest. On August 23rd, 2016. Fundamentalist organized a protest in Belmopan in front of

the National Assembly as well as August 26th, 2016(United Belize Advocacy Movement, 2016).

Basically members of the LGBT community recalled a matter in which their rights to be

as they are were challenged again by the public, the churches, Belize National Teacher Union,
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 9

Utilities Union and even some members of government. Section 53 criminalizes intercourse

between consenting adults of the same sex, subjecting them up to 10 years imprisonment. But

ever since abolishing this and changing it to protect the LGBT community many citizens were

outraged. The goal of this community was to only abolish the law so they may act freely with

their partner and not be penalized. But Belizeans think otherwise as they predict that this will

affect their children and destroy their morals as a society.

3 murders in the City: Cross-dresser killed on Elston Kerr Street. Presented on

Channel 5 news Belize; an eighteen year old male cross dresser, Joseph Jatnet Sanchez, was

murdered; stabbed twice in the chest as he walked on Elston Kerr Street as a result of his

sexuality. Sanchez was found dead just before two am on a Sunday morning as he headed to a

party. When he met his death he was dressed in a white sleeveless blouse and a short green and

black skirt. Sanchez worked at a Call Centre and according to his family he would dress as a

female only when he went out at night. According to a relative of the victim, the victim has been

receiving death threats from a male person that he was involve with. Because of his lifestyle as a

cross-dresser the male person didnt know he was involve with a biological male person but

rather a female. The family of the 18 year old believes that their loved one death is a crime of

passion and crime of hate which again is a result of his sexuality (Homosexual). His mother

mentioned that many times when her son will walk the streets people will curse him and refer to

him with derogative terms but he wouldnt answer (Duane Moody, 2014).

The motive of this murder is still uncertain for the police believes it was robbery but from

the victim family members they believe its because of his sexuality. As mentioned, Sanchez was

a cross-dresser and people knew of the decision he had chosen to live his life. From all the

threats that Sanchez has been receiving and the degrading terms used at him it is quite evident
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 10

that society and specifically males within society wont accept the idea of another male acting in

a feminine way or for them to engage with a next male sexually. As for what happened to the

victim in this article it reflects the mentality of most people in society, they will not tolerate any

LGBT member and more than likely they resort to violence.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 11

Methodology

As mentioned, the purpose of this research is to identify to what extent does low

tolerance correlate with negative dispositions and hate crimes within society. Based on the

purpose of the study, two research question were constructed:

1. Is the population accepting of the idea of the LGBT?


2. Is the view of the LGBT activities mostly negative?

The research will mainly take a quantitative approach where data will be collected and

represented in numbers while also incorporating a qualitative approach which will be used also

so as to gather information and deduce what are individuals reason for holding, if any, bias

notions towards the topic being studied.

Primary and secondary sources were incorporated into this study as well which included

the use of questionnaires, surveys, electronic documents, websites, articles, journals and

Sociology text books.

In order to investigate whether low tolerance of the LGBT would correlate with negative

disposition or hate crimes against the LGBT, the main instrument used to collect data was a

questionnaire. The questionnaire contained only one type of question which was closed ended.

These type of question will limit participants to specific answers and will allow researchers to

find the answer to the problem easily. However, this may also make the answers bias since the

person cannot reply and questions would guide the participant to answer in a particular way. The

questionnaire also incorporated multiple Likert scales that would be used in order to see what are

the participants attitudes and feelings towards the LGBT. The scales ratings range from

completely agreeing with a claim to strongly disagreeing with a statement. This scale is an

effective means of finding what peoples emotional response towards the LGBT are and as such
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 12

it will aid the researchers in finding out the dispositions of the participants. A total of 30

questionnaires were distributed to random participants, thus allowing there to be a variety in

responses, since the location where each researcher reside was completely different that

increased the variety of the responses as well.

Sample Selection

The chosen method of the sampling selection is convenience sampling. Convenience

sampling is a non-probability sampling method where by the researcher selects participant for

the study based on their proximity to the researcher. With this sampling method time is saved due

to there being no need for a sampling frame. The reason for this choice is that the researcher does

not have specific individuals in mind for selection and that the schedules of participants and

researcher are different so it would be difficult to choose a specific sample group. The

questionnaire where distributed to random people on Saint Johns College Junior college campus

on Princess Margaret drive and throughout Belize in Ladyville, Burrell Boom, Belmopan and the

sand hill area where each researcher reside.

Participants

The sampling group contained an even number of fifteen each between the genders so as

to limit gender bias from the study. This will also reveal whether the views of the LGBT may

have a gender discrepancy where one group strongly opposes or accepts the LGBT.
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 13

Findings / Presentation of Data

AGE

15 - 18 19 - 22 23 - 26 27+

Figure 1: shows the age group represented in the sample. The majority of the population

is relatively older, this may lead to more traditional views of the LGBT rather than a liberal
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 14

perspective of the situation.

Gender

50% 50%

Male Female Intersexual

Figure 2: Pie chart showing the gnder ration of the sample. The number is

even in the sample therefore the possibity of gender biasness is eliminated.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 15

Racial Background

3%
27% White/European
Black/ African
Latino/a

70%

Figure 3: Pie chart displaying the racial back ground of the respondents with in the

sample. The majority of the sample has a black/ African background, as such majority of the

views may reflect that culture.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 16

Sexuality

26

3
1

0
Heterosexual/Straight Homosexual Bisexual Pansexual

Figure 4: Bar chart showing the sexuality of the sample. The sample has majority

heterosexual with an extremely low number of LGBT affiliation.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 17

Interaction with different Sexuality

11

10 10

9 9 9 9

8 8
Highly comfortable Somewhat Comfortable neutral Somewhat Uncomfortable Highly Uncomfortable
7 7 7 7 7

6 6 6 6 6

5 5 5

4 4 4 4

3 3 3 3 3 3

1 1
0

Figure 5: A Bar chart reflecting a Likert scale which show individuals feel about the

varying sexuality in the LGBT community. From what can be seen the transgender groups are

not as widely accepted as the others.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 18

General Claims Against the LGBT


Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree
Strongly Disagree

Figure 6: A bar chart showing what people think about the negative claims of the LGBT.

Right away its noticed that majority of the sample disagree with the negative claims others may

have of the LGBT.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 19

Opionions about the LGBT


4
0
12
3
12
3
3
0
2
6
8
14
2
0
8
9
6
7
1
0
14
5
8
3

Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree


Strongly Disagree Opinions of the LGBT

Figure 7: A bar chart showing what people think about certain views other have of the LGBT.

There is no sure pattern seen but most of the responses tend reflect a negative view about the

LGBT groups. Members of the LGBT are of the belief that they dont choose their sexuality and

that they were born that way while the data refutes that belief.
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 20

Relationship interaction

30 30 30 30

26
25

22

Holding Hands Hugging Friendly Kiss (On the Cheek) Romantic Kiss
17

11
10 10
9

Figure 8: A bar chart showing what the view of the sample is about the activities that

occur between the different gender relationships in the LGBT. Participants could have chosen

more than one answer so there were multiple responses. It is seen that activities that are intimate

are accepted between males and females more so than those between same sex relationships.
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 21

Responses To The LGBT


1
29

24
6

26
4

8
22

23
7

Yes No

Figure 9: The bar chart shows how the sample would react to certain situations regarding

the LGBT. The responses are mostly positive except for the fact that the sample believes that

most people have a negative view of the LGBT.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 22

Religously Affi liated

No; 23%

Yes; 77%

Figure 10: The pie chart above shows what percentage of the sample is religiously

affiliated. Its possible that perhaps the religious teaching of the participants could influence what

their view of the different sexual orientations are. If the religion is supportive of the LGBT

maybe the participant would be more accepting of their activities.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 23

Derogatory Terms Used to refer to the LGBT


Always Often Sometimes Never

21

19

15

7
6
5
4 4
3 3
2
1

Figure 11: The bar chart shows how frequently individuals used the words gay, fag/faggot

or queer to refer to someone of the LGBT negatively. The data from this graph can be used to

analyse whether these words are used to verbally attack members of the LGBT in a bad way.

Analysis
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 24

From the data collected during the research both the primary source and secondary source

was used in an attempt to achieve a plausible answer to the purpose of the study which is, to

what extent does low tolerance of the LGBT correlate with negative dispositions towards them

and hate crimes within society. Working in conjunction with that, the researchers also aimed to

figure out if the sample was accepting at all of the idea of the LGBT and whether their view of

the LGBT activities was mostly negative or positive. Based on the information gathered from the

data collection instrument it was used to construct graphs, pie charts and bar graphs that were

used to determine the problem statement.

First of all, in order to answer the problem statement, whether the sample was tolerant of

the LGBT had to be determined first. According to figure 5 it can be said that not every one of

the LGBT are intolerable, however, the sample seems to feel the most uncomfortable with the

transgender group in the LGBT, followed by bisexual males and lastly gay men. This data is

quite surprising considering that the gender ratio for the sample is even as depicted in figure 2.

The data, however, points to female bisexuals and lesbians being the most comfortable to interact

with, bear in mind that the gender of the population is even so the idea of it being a gender bias is

small. Although this pin points to the LGBT being tolerable of some groups, the sample finds

majority of the other groups Uncomfortable to interact with or they are intolerable of their

activities.

In figure 7, the biggest indicator of the fact that the participants are intolerable of the

LGBT can be seen when majority of the population blatantly agree that bisexuals have a choice

in their sexuality and that homosexual and bisexuals were not born that way. Members of the

LGBT are of the belief that they cannot choose their sexuality and when the majority of
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 25

participants agreed that they can change their sexuality it showed that they dont approve of them

and that the participants believe that people of the LGBT choose to be the way they are.

Another evidence of low tolerance can be seen in figure 8 where intimates acts between

same sex relationship are not approve of by a high amount. Although the sample are more in

favour of a Lesbian relationship where they can hug, and have romantic kisses, figure 8 reveals

that Gay couples have they least support. This shows that majority of the sample does not fully

agree with the LGBT engaging in these activities with their partners.

Lastly, figure 9 has the biggest indicator that can be translated to the general population.

In the bar chart it be seen that majority of the participants would no blatantly act out against the

LGBT, however, an overwhelming amount of the participants believe that most people in society

hold the LGBT in a negative light where their actions and rights are not respected.
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 26

Discussion

The main purpose of the research was to determine to what extent does low tolerance of

the LGBT correlated with negative dispositions towards them and hate crimes occurring. It was

hypothesized that if the data yield convincing results that proved that the sample had low

tolerance towards the LGBT it would rule in favour of there being negative dispositions and a

high possibility of hate crime occurring. Although the data did reveal that the sample had a low

tolerance for the LGBT there was not enough data to prove it would result in hate crime.

According to the information that was found it was proven that there was low tolerance

as shown in figure 7, 8 and 9. However, the sample only had a negative view and attitude

towards the LGBT activities as seen in figure 8 where there was a really low amount of

participants that believed it was acceptable for people of the same gender to behave in an

intimate way while the majority thought it was highly unacceptable.

It was also seen in figure 5 where majority of the LGBT groups were classified as being

highly uncomfortable to others and in figure 11 where participants said the used words such as

gay, Fag or faggot to refer to LGBT members in a hostile way. The majority of the sample also

agreed that the society in Belize is highly unaccepting of the LGBT as twenty nine out of thirty

participants agreed that people in society view them negatively.

There was also an interesting contradiction found in the results of the research. Although,

majority of the results point towards the sample being intolerant of the LGBT, twenty three out

of thirty of the participant claimed that they would never isolate themselves from a family

member that was a part of the LGBT. Also twenty four out of thirty says that there should be

laws to protect LGBT member, twenty six out of thirty claimed to have never acted violently

towards the LGBT and twenty two out of thirty said that they would stop a friend from harassing
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 27

a LGBT member. These findings was quite the conundrum due to the mix results that were

found, while a large majority appear to be highly intolerant of the LGBT activities they also

claim that they should have laws and that they would help if a member was being harassed.

Lastly, seventy seven percent of the population is religiously affiliated this could mean

that the participant are simply following the teachings of their religion if it is against the LGBT.

If this is true the reason for the mix feelings in the result could stem from their teachings going

against their morals.

The research question were answered from the results that were gathered from the

questionnaire, according to what was found the participants had high levels of intolerance

towards the LGBT thus they were not very accepting of the idea of what the LGBT entails and

that majority of the views of the LGBT were in a negative light were people are of the belief that

the member have the ability to choose what their sexuality is and they were not born the way

they are. Research have shown that the LGBT group is one of the third highest group to be

targeted for hate crime, many reports are seen where innocent people have been targeted for the

sexuality and in the worst case scenario people have been killed.

In the end the hypothesis that low tolerance of the LGBT will correlate with negative

dispositions and high amounts of hate crime was not accepted. Although the results point

towards majority of the participants holding negative views of them it was found that they would

never result to violence in order to appease the slight discomfort they feel.
TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 28

Limitations

The research had some obstructions it face along its completion. The lack of time to

collect all necessary data and to analyse them effectively is factor that affected the research. The

lack of sufficient questionnaires that could have been distributed in order to collect data was

factor as it would affect the ability of the results to be generalized to the population. Lastly,

finding enough research participants for the questionnaire was also another minor limitation

because of the differing schedules of both researchers and participants.

Conclusion

The research discovered something interesting findings, especially in the conflicting evidence of

having a negative view of the LGBT but still wanting them to have laws and helping members

when they are harassed. It is recommended that for future research that there be an in depth study

for a possible correlation between religious teaching and peoples point of view on the LGBT. If

such a study is conducted it would highlight whether the religious teach affect their beliefs in the

matter. The LGBT is constant debated topic currently in present society. Although people may

have negative views it could be based of ignorance because LGBT members are still human and

they shouldnt be treated any differently from ordinary citizens.


TOLERANCE OF THE LGBT IN SOCIETY 29

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