Hate crimes have risen from 2014 to 2015 in North Carolina according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 2015 report on hate crimes.
According to the data, 162 hate crimes occurred in total in the state throughout the duration of 2015 — an increase of 15 percent from 2014.
The FBI report included data on hate crimes on the basis of race, ethnicity and ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity.
The number of hate crime incidents related to race and sexual orientation increased the most. The number of hate crimes motivated by racial bias in the state increased from 96 in 2014 to 106 in 2015. The number of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias increased from 23 in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
Ben Graumann, spokesperson for Equality N.C., said he doesn’t know the specific cause of the spike in hate crimes, but believes House Bill 2 could play a role.