Arc of Indiana Leading Campaign Supporting Passage of Hate Crimes Law
Indiana is one of only five U.S. states without a hate crime law currently in effect, and state lawmakers are debating the issue of whether to include a list of specific protected groups in a piece of legislation under review.
Special Olympics Indiana has joined the Arc of Indiana and 14 other organizations and agencies representing the interests of people with disabilities in asking House and Senate leaders to pass a hate/bias crimes law that includes a list of protected categories, including people with disabilities.
The original bill was written in such a way that would allow judges to consider a stricter sentence for someone who harms or intimidates a person or group based on a list of protected characteristics including race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability (including intellectual disability).
The amended Senate Bill 12—passed in February and now under consideration in the House of Representatives—removed the list of protected groups, raising concerns that the lack of specificity would limit a court’s ability to prosecute crimes of bias.
To learn more about this important issue and find out how you can help, please see this Action Alert by The Arc of Indiana: Action Needed to Support Passage of Hate Crimes Law.