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Gov. Holcomb signs hate crimes bill into law

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Posted at 3:46 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 15:46:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed Indiana’s hate crimes bill into law, but it’s still unclear if it will get the state off the list of states without such a law.

The Anti-Defamation League lists Indiana as one of only five states without a hate crimes law. The ADL said last week it was “deeply disappointed” by the current version of the hate crimes bill.

The ADL said it was too vague and “does not meet our standard for a real and effective hate crimes bill in 2019.”

The Indiana Senate voted Tuesday to approve the bill, despite the Democrats’ criticism over the fact that it does not explicitly cover age, sex or gender identity.

Instead, the bill refers to Indiana's reporting statute that mentions color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation.

The law’s supporters say it covers everybody, even if their characteristic isn’t explicitly listed.

“Our goal was to achieve a comprehensive law that protects those who are the targets of bias crimes, and we have accomplished just that,” Holcomb said. “We have made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence. I am confident our judges will increase punishment for those who commit crimes motivated by bias under this law.”

The law is effective July 1.

The other states without a hate crimes law are Georgia, South Carolina, Wyoming and Arkansas.