Governor Expected to Sign Indiana’s first Hate Crime Bill

Indiana (NNDC):

Indiana had been only a small handful of states that did not have a hate crime law on the books. Indiana’s first hate crime bill was approved by the House and Senate, is now headed for Governor Holcomb, who is expected sign it into law.

There was some dissention among lawmakers that the bill that isn’t comprehensive and apparently vague in that it does not specifically cover age, gender and gender identity. And the American Civil Liberties Union contends the attempt to cover everyone without listing everyone makes the bill unconstitutionally vague.

Hate crime bills have been proposed at the statehouse before and just as quickly dismissed for a quarter century with many not even receiving a hearing. Advocacy groups intend to keep pushing to expand the law in future sessions.

The Indiana Chamber, which separately lobbied for a hate crime law says while the bill isn’t perfect, it’s a big step forward, and the most that was politically achievable. The Governor and the Chamber have said part of their goal was to get Indiana off the Anti-Defamation League’s list of five states without a hate crime law.

Only race and religion are included in all 45 hate crime laws recognized by the A-D-L. Just 15 include age, and 16 include gender identity, with 30 recognizing gender

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