Indiana House OKs bias bill lacking gender protections

(photo supplied / Indiana Statehouse)

The Indiana House has approved hate crimes legislation that doesn’t specifically list gender identity, age or gender among its protected traits.

House members voted 57-39 Tuesday to advance the bill. The Senate must either agree to the changes made by the House or send it on to a joint House-Senate conference committee to resolve any differences.

The House vote came one day after the chamber unexpectedly adopted hate crimes language in an amended, unrelated bill.

The language accepted Monday on a voice vote mentions color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation, but doesn’t explicitly cover age, sex or gender identity.

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he supports the proposal, saying it “covers all forms of bias crimes.” Indiana is one of five states without a hate crimes law.