Opponents and supporters of a proposed Indiana hate crimes law are arguing their positions before state legislators.
A state Senate committee opened a hearing Monday morning on a bill that would create a law specifically against crimes fueled by biases regarding traits such as race, religion and sexual orientation.
Indiana is one of just five states without such a law, and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has said the state is “long overdue” to adopt hate crimes legislation.
Repeated efforts for an Indiana law have failed amid fierce opposition from conservatives who maintain it would unfairly create specially-protected classes of victims and wrongly restrict free speech.
Business leaders argue state law needs to send a clear message that Indiana respects diversity so the state can attract talented workers.