The number of hate crimes reported in Maryland shot up by more than 45 percent in 2013 compared to the year prior, with crimes targeting victims' religious beliefs accounting for much of the increase, according to FBI data released this week.
The rise comes amid a decrease in the number of hate crimes reported nationally, year over year.
In 2012, there were 35 hate crimes reported by 154 agencies throughout the state. In 2013, there were 51 hate crimes reported by the same number of agencies, the data show.
Of those, 15 were based on religion, compared to 4 religion-based hate crimes in 2012. Hate crimes based on race went from 23 in 2012 to 26 in 2013, while crimes based on sexual orientation remained flat, at 7 incidents in both years.
Under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009, the FBI for the first time this year broke out crimes based on gender and gender identity as well. However, no crimes based on those factors were reported in Maryland.
There were also no crimes based on bias against disabilities reported in Maryland.
Of 5,922 single-bias incidents nationally in 2013, race was a factor in 48.5 percent, sexual orientation in 20.8 percent, and religion in 17.4 percent.
Gender identity bias accounted for just 0.5 percent, or 33 incidents, while gender bias accounted for 0.4 percent, or 30 incidents.
Of the racially motivated crimes, 66.4 percent were motivated by anti-black bias and 21.4 percent by anti-white bias.
Of the reported 1,402 hate crimes based on sexual orientation, 60.6 percent were classified as bias against gay males; 22.6 against a mixed lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender group; 13.2 percent against lesbians; 1.9 percent against bisexuals; and 1.7 percent against heterosexuals.
Of 6,933 offenses nationally in 2013, 63.9 percent were crimes against people, including assaults, acts of intimidation and murder. About 35 percent were property crimes, including vandalism and destruction of property.
All 51 incidents in Maryland in 2013 were reported by law enforcement agencies from just 20 counties, cities, agencies and college campuses. The rest of the 154 participating law enforcement agencies reported no hate crimes.
Of the 26 reported crimes based on race, there were 6 in Montgomery County; 4 in Howard County; 3 in Frederick County; 3 in Baltimore County; 2 in Carroll County; and 1 in Harford County. There were 2 in the city of Frederick, and 1 in Bel Air.
There was also one reported, respectively, in Garrett and Queen Anne's counties and at St. Mary's College and Towson University.
Of the 15 reported crimes based on religious bias, there was one each in Baltimore, Annapolis and Aberdeen; 2 in Baltimore County; 4 in Montgomery County; 4 in Frederick County; and 2 reported by the State Fire Marshal.