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The Latest: Advocates leery of hate crime law proposal

January 8, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the debate over a proposed Indiana hate crimes law (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

A coalition of Indiana business, religious and community group leaders say they won’t be satisfied with what they describe as a weakened version of a proposed state hate crimes law.

More than 100 supporters joined the group Indiana Forward at the Statehouse on Tuesday to launch a lobbying campaign for the law. Several speakers argued Indiana needs a strong law that specifically extends protections 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.

A proposal submitted by a top House Republican would allow tougher sentencing for hate crimes, but not list any protected traits.

Indianapolis Chamber Of Commerce President Michael Huber says the law needs specific protections in order to send a clear message about Indiana respecting diversity.

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5:40 a.m.

Business and community group leaders will be gathering at the Indiana Statehouse as part of their push for adoption of a state hate crimes law.

The group Indiana Forward says Tuesday’s event will launch a lobbying campaign for the law that is being backed by hundreds of supporters from the business, nonprofit, education and faith communities. The presidents of United Way of Central Indiana and the Indianapolis chamber of commerce are to join Republican and Democratic officials at the event.

Indiana is one of just five states without laws specifically against crimes fueled by biases regarding traits such as race, religion and sexual orientation.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is backing the proposal , which has been blocked by conservative lawmakers in recent years.