Indiana refuses to pass comprehensive and inclusive Hate Crime Law

An update from our coalition partner, Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate:

Today, with the lack of vote in the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, SB 418, a bill to pass a hate crime law in Indiana, died in Committee. Despite statewide polls prior to the session showing 65% of Hoosiers support the passage of hate crimes legislation, and calls from businesses and economic development leaders, and nearly a hundred community organizations, a majority of Indiana Senators listened to only those who oppose protections for LGBTQ+ Hoosiers. The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate is profoundly disappointed that for another year, issues that largely centered around the inclusion of LGBTQ+ Hoosiers in a proposed list of identified characteristics, has prevented the Indiana Senate from passing an identical bias crimes bill to the one they passed in 2016.

The Alliance worked with Senators to try to find compromise language that would address concerns, but in the end, we felt it was crucial to include a list of identified characteristics, as 44 out of 45 other states have utilized. However, the opposition would not agree to anything that continued to include sexual orientation and gender identity, identified characteristics the Alliance believes must be part of any hate crime law. It is incomprehensible that despite escalating examples of hate crimes in Indiana and at the national level, and despite national attention to Indiana’s lack of a hate crime law, Indiana is determined to continue to wear its badge of defiance by not providing full protection to persons commonly targeted by hate, including our LGBTQ+ Hoosiers.

While this is a setback, we are not going away. Advocates will continue to come back to the General Assembly for as long as it takes to change hearts and minds and finally help legislators see that it is imperative that we clarify our code, and strongly say as a state that we do not tolerate hate.

For more information or updates, click on the Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate’s Facebook page.

Also, read the Alliance’s Fact Sheet for more answers to frequently asked questions about a hate crime law.