Spike in hate crimes targets Utah’s LGBTQ community

May 31, 2022, 7:37 PM | Updated: Jun 1, 2022, 10:59 am

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — The number of hate crimes in Utah is way up and nearly double when you look at those reported against people in the LGBTQ+ community.

Those crimes also went up during Pride month, which is just getting underway. More crimes are being reported now thanks, in part, to hate crimes legislation passed in 2019.

There are also more people feeling confident in reporting those crimes. Those in the LGBTQ+ community said a lot more needs to be done to help people feel safer. It may be the most commonly reported crime against the LGBTQ+ community.

“We’ve been flying pride flags since 2018 when one of our kids came out to us,” Marion McClellan said.

She now has two kids who identify as queer. They have had several flags stolen.

Surveillance cameras captured some of the thefts.

Payson police are still asking for the public’s help to find the vandals. McClellan said she won’t stop putting the flags back outside her home.

“The main reason is we have so many LGBT kids in our area. It makes a huge difference that they feel seen and there’s a place that’s safe,” she said

Genevra Prothero has been through it too.

“I’ve had the transgender flag taken twice,” she said.

She puts them up outside her home to support a brother and close friends. They are just some of the many concerned by the recent increase in crimes against people in the queer community.

According to statistics from Utah’s Department of Public Safety, there were 72 hate crimes reported in 2020. Out of those, 22 were against LGBTQ+ people. In 2021 the total was up to 135, 42 of those incidents against LGBTQ people.

“It hurts my heart because this is basically saying that if you are this way, I hate you,” Prothero said. “So to me, how could you do that?”

Prothero also serves as director of Davis Pride. She said to see a meaningful change people need to be willing to listen.

“Come to Davis County Pride. Go to Utah Pride and see how much love there is and see if you still hate those people because you can’t,” she said.

McClellan said we can’t be okay with the way things are.

“It’s unacceptable. It’s anti-anything that our community claims to believe or hold or cherish,” she added.

Flag theft is just the start when it comes to crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. The crimes also include threats, vandalism, as well as physical and sexual assault.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A rendering of an arts campus plaza within the "Rio Grande District." (Photo: Redevelopment Agency ...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Salt Lake City has ‘ambitious vision’ as it seeks to turn Rio Grande around

The blocks behind the Rio Grande Depot — and the building itself — have gone through some tough times over at least the past decade; however, Salt Lake City planners say they have an "ambitious" plan to turn the site around.

2 hours ago

A photo of seized illegal drugs and paraphernalia from a traffic stop near 1500 South West Temple S...

Carlysle Price

Two arrested after SLCPD find large amounts of methamphetamine

Liberty Patrol officers arrested two people Friday morning after finding nearly 200 grams of methamphetamine in their car, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department press release.

4 hours ago

photo of a snowy peak at Snowbasin...

Nick Perry, Associated Press

Soar, slide, splash? It’s skiers’ choice as spring’s wacky pond skimming tradition returns

It's the wacky spring tradition of pond skimming, and it's happening this month at ski resorts across the country. It's often held to celebrate the last day of the skiing season before the chairlifts close until the following winter.

5 hours ago

Brittney Mulliner showing her website for her book series based on a fiction team called the Utah F...

Andrew Adams

Utah author says she was stunned by one of the trademarked Utah NHL hockey team names

A Utah County author said she was surprised when she saw one of the potential trademarked Utah NHL hockey team names.

18 hours ago

Lowell Ward in the hospital after the accident (Courtesy: Katherine Ward)...

Brianna Chavez

Cache County family thankful for driver who helped son after he was hit by car

A Cache County family is encouraging drivers to stay cautious on the roads and learn from their experience after their 13-year-old son was hit by a car.

19 hours ago


Carlysle Price

Man caught hiding in storage unit after stealing three separate vehicles

Roy resident Joshua Sotomayor was arrested in Brigham City Thursday morning after committing a series of crimes, and eventually hiding out inside of a storage unit, according to officials.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Spike in hate crimes targets Utah’s LGBTQ community