Advocates push for Indiana lawmakers to establish hate crime law

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At least two Indianapolis-based officials and two organizations are calling upon state lawmakers to establish a hate crime law.

Democratic state Rep. Gregory Porter of Indianapolis has been advocating for at least 15 years for legislation to increase penalties for crimes motivated by biases, including race, gender and religion. He drafted a hate crime bill, but it failed last legislative session, with opponents contending it’s not necessary because of the federal hate crime law.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry has joined Porter’s effort, arguing that the state law is necessary to show hate crimes won’t be tolerated in Indiana.

The proposal also is supported by the Indianapolis Urban League and the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.

Indiana is among only five states without a hate crime law.

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