Concerned citizens push for hate crimes bill at Crackerbarrel session

Concerned citizens took to the podium Saturday to talk directly with lawmakers about some of the bills still up for debate this session.

Posted: Mar. 9, 2019 8:56 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Concerned citizens took to the podium Saturday to talk directly with lawmakers about some of the bills still up for debate this session.

Indiana lawmakers made up a panel for this month’s Crackerbarrel session at the Vigo County Public Library. They spoke with the public about issues ranging from casino bills to road conditions.

One topic that was mentioned several times was a hate crimes bill for Indiana. The Hoosier state is one of five without a hate crimes law.

Back in February the state senate approved a modified version of a hate crimes bill. It does not specifically protect sexual orientation, gender identity and race.

One man who was at the Crackerbarrel session questions the point of passing the bill without specific language about who it protects.

Arthur Feinsod is the president of the Interfaith Counsel of the Wabash Valley. His Jewish background is one of the many reasons he says he is pushing for an inclusive hate crimes bill.

Feinsod says it is not a hate crimes bill if you exclude certain groups.

"There are people that recommend a list that doesn't include the LGBTQ. I think then let's not have a hate crimes bill because we're just putting a bigger target on the LGBTQ community and I think that's irresponsible."

Feinsod says he is hopeful these changes will be made to ensure the bill includes these groups.

The next Crackerbarrel session is April 13th.

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