Passage of Inclusive Hate Crime Law Urged

Published: January 29, 2018

For Immediate Release – January 29, 2017

    Alliance Urges Senate Committee to Pass Inclusive Hate Crime Law

Media Contacts:

David Sklar, Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC),, 317-501-9314

Amy Nelson, Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate,, 317-644-0673 x1001

The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate (Alliance), of which Families First is a member, urges passage of a comprehensive and

inclusive hate crime law by the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. On Tuesday,

January 30th, the Committee will debate passage of two bad amendments to SB 418. The inclusion

of either of these bad amendments would send a message of bigotry across our county that would

negatively impact Indiana’s economic development.

Bad Amendment #1: Would eliminate gender identity as one of the named characteristics in SB

418. Passage of a hate crime law which removes any of the characteristics commonly targeted by

hate would send a message to businesses like Amazon and others that Indiana is willing to accept

certain types of hate crimes even when well documented that gender identity is a characteristic

commonly targeted in hate crimes in Indiana and nationwide.

Bad Amendment #2: Would eliminate the listing of any characteristics from SB 418 – essentially

making the law useless for prosecution as has been shown by laws previously passed in Georgia

and elsewhere. The State of Georgia is currently with Indiana as one of only five states without a

hate crime law. In 2004, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the state’s then hate crime law was

unconstitutional due to its lack of named characteristics in its law. This year, Georgia is reviewing

passage of a comprehensive hate crime, including all characteristics currently listed in SB 418, to

remedy this mistake. Atlanta, GA is also one of the cities being considered by Amazon for its HQ2.

“Numerous polls have shown overwhelming Hoosier support for passage of a hate crime law

including the Ball State Hoosier Survey finding that 65% of Hoosiers favor passage. Last week, city

leadership and businesses joined with nonprofits and advocates to encourage passage of a law to

remove the stain upon Indiana for employee recruitment,” stated David Sklar of the Indianapolis

Jewish Community Relations Council. “If we truly want to show businesses like Amazon that

Indiana welcomes all and will protect their employees if targeted by hate, then it’s is time for our

legislative leadership to say so by refusing these bad amendments and passing an effective and

inclusive hate crime law,” he continued.

Testimony provided by Hoosiers at SB 418’s hearing last week spoke of the economic impact of

Indiana’s lack of a hate crime law. Hoosiers targeted by hate crimes also provided powerful and

heartbreaking testimony of not feeling welcome and having few options for justice.

“Indiana cannot continue to allow the rhetoric and misinformation of a small and biased group of

individuals who believe that Hoosiers should not have access to justice if targeted by hate due to

their sexual orientation or gender identity,” explained Amy Nelson of the Central Indiana Alliance

Against Hate. “Passage of a comprehensive, inclusive hate crime law will send a powerful message

to our nation that Indiana is the place where businesses and their employees would be proud to call

home,” she continued.

The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate demands the Senate Committee on Corrections and

Criminal Law vote to pass a comprehensive and inclusive SB 418 that does not include the

amendments noted above. For more information or updates, visit the Central Indiana Alliance

Against Hate’s Facebook page. Read the Alliance’s Fact Sheet for more answers to frequently asked

questions about a hate crime law.

About the Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate

The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate (Alliance) formed in March 2017 and is a group of individuals, nonprofits, and

businesses that exist to reduce the occurrence and combat the consequences of hate crimes and hate-based incidents.

The Alliance is a project of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. More information on the Alliance is at: #IndianaNeedsAHateCrimeLaw