Advocates say hate crime law would help Indiana’s reputation

Advocates say Indiana has a reputation for intolerance that will continue unless the state Legislature approves a hate crimes law.

Bill targeting hate crimes have failed in recent years and the state is one of just five without laws against crimes motivated by biases, such as race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. But proponents expressed optimism during a Statehouse rally Tuesday that this could be their year.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma have both expressed a willingness to consider it.

Opponents say hate crime laws create special protected classed that treat victims of similar crimes differently. Supporters say the lack of such a law could deter companies and skilled workers from moving to Indiana.