Indiana governor backs hate crimes law

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Monday that he would support an LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes law for the state.

Holcomb made the announcement in statement to the LGBTQ news website INTO. Indiana is one of only five states with no hate crimes legislation at all. The issue popped up in the state after a synagogue in an Indianapolis suburb found nazi graffiti on their campus.

“No law can stop evil, but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced,” the governor claimed in a statement sent to INTO. “For that reason it is my intent that we get something done this next legislative session, so Indiana can be one of 46 states with hate crime legislation — and not one of five states without it.”

Holcomb had supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act his predecessor Mike Pence had signed into law despite pressure from all parts of the political spectrum in 2015.

But a spokesperson confirmed the governor’s support for a law that would include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The governor has indicated he supports legislation that protects — not excludes — all Hoosiers,” Rachel Hoffmeyer, digital communications director for the governor’s office, said in a statement to INTO. “This reflects the governor’s policy statement on affirmative action and workplace harassment prevention, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The bill, Senate Bill 418, was introduced by Republican state senator Sue Glick this year, with LGBTQ, protections, but conservatives in the Republican-controlled state legislature fought to remove LGBTQ from the bill and add Trump supporters as a protected class before the bill died in committee for the year.

INTO reported that Indiana lawmakers expect the legislation to be reintroduced in the 2019 legislative session. You can read the full story here.

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