Indiana Senate panel to take up hate crimes legislation

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Senate committee is set to vote on a legislation targeting hate crimes.

Bills 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 say they are optimistic this year. Both House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate leader David Long say they support the idea. That’s a change from the past.

Opponents, including social conservatives, say hate crime laws create special protected classed that treat victims of similar crimes differently.

But supporters say the lack of such a law makes Indiana look backward.

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law committee will take up the legislation Tuesday morning.