Indiana may finally be getting a hate crime bill, and it’s seriously about time

Apparently Indiana may *finally* be getting a hate crime bill. Wait, now? Yep. It’s one of only five states that don’t currently have such a measure in place, which is a big problem considering that hate crimes are, unfortunately, still an issue. If anything, there’s been an increase in hate crime since the election, so Indiana’s hate crime bill is sadly necessary.

Indiana’s hate crime bill was approved by a Senate panel 6-3 this week, and has moved on to the House. The last time such a bill was attempted, it was killed in the House, but this year the bill’s author, Republican Sen. Susan Glick, is more hopeful.

This is important because it would finally make it possible for judges to increase a charge in cases where crimes occurred because of a victim’s perceived or actual race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Reverend Michael Cooper, a pastor at Metropolitan Community Church Illiana in Portage, explained to the Chicago Tribune, explained that this change will help empower victims of hate crimes by acknowledging the role that issues like racism, homophobia, and other discrimination played in the crime.

"Increasing the penalties in some cases will provide better closure for people who have been victims of hate crimes."

Ultimately, though, it simply isn’t right for Indiana and the other four states without this kind of law to keep acting like all crimes are equal. By taking crimes out of context, it can be hard for justice to ever really be served. Cooper explained.

"I think it's about time for Indiana to come in line with most of the other states and it would be a great step forward."

Now that’s something we can all agree with.

H/T LGBTQ Nation

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