Indiana hate crime bill moves step closer to becoming law
A hate crime bill in Indiana has moved a step closer to becoming law.
The legislation would allow a judge to consider imposing a tougher sentence if they believed a crime had been motivated by a person’s perceived or actual race, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
It would also extend to off-duty police officers.
The Hoosier State is one of only five not to have specific hate crime legislation.
The measure was approved by a panel of the State Senate on Tuesday, by a vote of six to three.
Similar legislation passed the Senate last year but was defeated in the lower chamber.
Some have criticised the bill for not creating a specific hate crime law, while others have said it’s unnecessary as judges can already consider hate when laying down a sentence.
They also added that it meant people were treated differently for being a victim of the same crime.
Last month, an anti-trans bill, put forward by an Elvis impersonator, was killed by a Republican health committee chair.
The state also recently appealed against a ruling to allow two same-sex parents to appear on a birth certificate.
Current US Vice President Mike Pence is the former Governor of the state.