News In Brief

More than 90 business and nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities and faith leaders recently announced membership in Indiana Forward, a coalition with a mission for a “clear, specific and inclusive” hate crimes law in the 2019 legislative session.

The coalition advocates for lawmakers to pass legislation that enhances penalties for crimes involving a victim’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation are motives for the criminal behavior.

Indiana is one of five states without clear hate crime laws. According to a November 2018 poll by IndyPolitics.org, more than 60 percent of Indiana residents support a hate crimes law. Gov. Eric Holcomb signaled his support for such as measure, stating a clear and concise law would be a top issue in 2019. Many Indiana employers, say a lack of a hate crimes law helps perpetuate a negative view of the state and adversely affects recruitment efforts. Indiana is one of five states without a  specific hate crimes law.

Indiana Forward believes protecting Hoosiers can strengthen cultural, economic and individual growth; residents should be feel safe no matter their location, and the state as a duty to ensure this safety; and passing the law will benefit Indiana as such laws are pro business. Companies, nonprofits or individuals interested in joining or learning more can visit IndianaForward.org, or follow the organization on Facebook or Twitter @IndianaForward.

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