Senate panel to take up hate crimes bill — again

An Indiana Senate committee will take up a bill targeting hate crimes — again.

Tuesday's meeting of the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law committee comes after committee members delayed taking action on the bill last week.

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 after Republican legislative leaders have voiced support for the measure.

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.

You can read the text of Senate Bill 418 here.

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