INDIANAPOLIS (WAVE) - Indiana lawmakers have killed a bill targeting hate crimes, again.
It was slated for consideration Tuesday morning, but the state senate committee chairman backed out. He said a consensus couldn't be reached on the wording.
Indiana is one of just five states without a hate crime law.
The legislation targets crimes motivated by factors like gender, religion, race and sexual orientation.
Bills similar to the measure that died Tuesday have failed in recent years in Indiana.
Donald Hanlon, the owner of Pride Bar in New Albany, was stunned to hear the news.
He said though his bar and its patrons have a great relationship with their police department and community, his business is the only gay bar in southern Indiana, making it a target for hate crimes.
"Disappointment," Hanlon said. "Knowing that I thought we've come a lot further than we have and it feels like we've taken about 10 steps back. It could be because of the presidency, it could be because of a lot of different things. But, 20, 30 years ago, I feel like that's where we are now."
Republicans have voiced support for legislation against hate crimes. However, critics argue it would create special protected classes, treating victims of similar crimes differently.