Indiana Senate removes list of biases from hate crimes bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s state Senate has removed sexual orientation, gender identity, race and a list of other characteristics from a hate crimes bill.

The Republican-majority body voted Tuesday on amendments which would have allowed judges to impose additional penalties against anyone convicted of committing crimes fueled by those and other biases.

The Senate voted to add that judges can consider bias, more generally, as an aggravating circumstance.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb supported the original bill and said the version approved Tuesday “does not get Indiana off the list of states without a bias crime law.”

Georgia, South Carolina, Wyoming and Arkansas also do not have hate crime laws.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody criticized Holcomb and said “leaders find a way to bridge the divide and get things done.”

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