INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana legislature has filed a motion to concur on the most recent version of bias crimes legislation, Senate Bill 198. The bill is expected to pass this afternoon, moving to Governor Holcomb’s desk. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is urging Governor Holcomb to veto Senate Bill 198.
ACLU of Indiana Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Katie Blair issued this statement:
“This bias crime bill fails to protect vulnerable Hoosiers, will chill free speech, and will not take Indiana off of the list of states without a bias crime law. The ACLU of Indiana is opposed to SB 198 and will urge Governor Holcomb to veto this unconstitutionally vague bill.
“The broad definition of attributes included in SB 198 violates the U.S. Constitution and will undoubtedly punish free speech. In addition, by omitting gender identity from the list of protected classes, SB 198 sends a message to trans Hoosiers that protecting their lives is a secondary priority.
“SB 198 fails to get the job done on every level and does not meet the standards of an effective hate crimes bill.”