Anti-semitic vandalism leads to renewed push for Indiana hate crime law

Published: Jul. 31, 2018 at 3:48 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2018 at 4:18 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Hoosiers are renewing a call for a hate crime law in Indiana after a Carmel synagogue was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Nazi graffiti was spray-painted on a wall outside the temple. The act of vandalism is uniting many in the Carmel community and state-wide through a renewed push for a hate crime law in Indiana.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb saying in a statement Monday, "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 Hoosier State is currently one of five states without a measure. Hate crime legislation regularly comes up in the Indiana legislature, according to Representative Ed Clere, but often fails to pass because of divided opinions over protections for the LGBT community.

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"LGBT protections have probably been the biggest obstacle to passing hate crimes legislation," Clere said. "But I believe that LGBT protections need to be explicit in any hate crimes legislation."

Clere said he has been and remains "fully supportive of hate crimes legislation" and he hopes the Carmel incident "will be the catalyst for passing legislation."

Through his office, Gov. Holcomb issued the following statement to WAVE 3 News:

"No law can stop evil, but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced.

"For that reason it is my intent that we get something done this next legislative session, so Indiana can be 1 of 46 states with hate crimes legislation—and not 1 of 5 states without it. 
"I'll be meeting with lawmakers, legal minds, corporate leaders and citizens of all stripes who are seeking to find consensus on this issue so that, once and for all, we can move forward as a state."

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