Indiana Senate panel hearing state hate crimes bill

Opponents and supporters of a proposed Indiana hate crimes law are arguing their positions before state legislators.

Posted: Feb. 18, 2019 12:43 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Opponents and supporters of a proposed Indiana hate crimes law are arguing their positions before state legislators.

A state Senate committee opened a hearing Monday morning on a bill that would create a law specifically against crimes fueled by biases regarding traits such as race, religion and sexual orientation.

Indiana is one of just five states without such a law and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has said the state is “long overdue” to adopt a hate crimes law.

Repeated efforts for an Indiana law have failed amid fierce opposition from conservatives who maintain it would unfairly create specially-protected classes of victims and wrongly restrict free speech.

Business leaders argue state law needs to send a clear message that Indiana respects diversity so the state can attract talented workers.

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