NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – Indiana is one of just five states without a hate crime law, it’s a statistic Hoosiers hear regularly.
Despite repeated calls for legislation to pass that would implement strong protections, lawmakers continue to show that one in five statistic is one that won’t be easily changed.
In February, the Indiana Senate approved a hate crime bill but the legislation had stripped away the list of included protections for people based on things like race, gender identity or religion. The bill has been criticized by many around the state who say without a list of protected people, the bill likely won’t be strong enough to protect victims of targeted crimes.
Joining the call to do better and propose stronger legislation is Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. In a statement following the Senate’s approval of SB12, Gov. Holcomb said,
“The version of the bill approved today by the Senate does not get Indiana off the list of states without a bias crime law. We have a long way to go, a lot of work to do, and fortunately the time yet still to do it. I will continue to fight for the right ultimate outcome for our state and citizens this year so we’re not right back here in the same place next year.”
These kind of targeted crimes do happen in Indiana.
Last summer, anti-Semitic graffiti left on a Carmel synagogue shocked many in the Hoosier state. In August, a Floyds Knobs retirement community’s sign was spray painted with swastikas in August. New Albany city leaders say swastikas are continuing to be found around parts of town.
Now, Southern Indiana Pride together with the Indiana Forward Campaign are pushing for change and calling on lawmakers to do better by passing law that protects people for who they are. They’re organizing a rally in New Albany to call for change in Indianapolis.
Updates can be found on the Southern Indiana Pride Facebook page.
The event was originally scheduled for March 3 was rescheduled to March 10 because of weather. The rally will begin at noon at Bicentennial Park on Spring Street in New Albany. All are welcome to attend.