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151 GAYS CLAIMED BY HATE CRIMES

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At least 151 gay people in the United States have been murdered over the past three years in hate-motivated killings, a report compiled by activist groups says.

The report examined killings in 29 states and Washington, D.C."These murders are only the end result of the rampant violence we face as gay people," said Lester Olmstead-Rose, executive director of the Community United Against Violence, a San Francisco group that took part in the study.

"What we face is terrorism - the demand by thugs that we conform to their personal and religious standards," Olmstead-Rose said in a statement.

The study was coordinated nationally by the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, which said that it "does not purport to document the true number of gay-lesbian-related homicides" since not all states are accounted for and most of the organizations contributing to the list of incidents are all-volunteer.

The list, culled from police and news media reports, describes numerous killings in which victims were bludgeoned, stabbed repeatedly or mutilated, or where witnesses heard anti-gay remarks or suspects confessed to anti-gay sentiment. Twenty-four people were victims of serial killers.

"What we've found is an extreme level of viciousness during anti-gay murders," Olmstead-Rose said.

The gay homicides also appear to be solved at a lower rate than killings in general, the report said. It suggested friends or family members fear revealing a victim's sexual orientation to police, and that anti-gay killings may be a lower priority for some police departments.

FBI spokesman Rick Smith in San Francisco said he had "no basis for comment" on the report because the FBI does not differen-tiate between killings of gays and heterosexuals in its crime statistics.