Supporters Say 'It's Time' For Hate Crimes Law

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Murtlow and Mills were guests on this weekend's edition of Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick. Murtlow and Mills were guests on this weekend's edition of Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Organizers of a broad-based coalition say the time is right for Indiana to adopt a comprehensive hate crimes law. Indiana Forward, a group of more than 700 business, community, nonprofit and academic institutions, launched last week to advocate for passage of a hate crimes bill, calling it a social and economic issue. "We've got to have a community and a state that is welcoming to all people to recruit and retain top talent," said Cummins Director of External Communications Jon Mills, who added "it's the right thing to do." Another Indiana Forward organizer, United Way of Central Indiana Chief Executive Officer Ann Murtlow, says the group will work with legislators over the next three months on a hate crimes bill. "We are at the beginning, it’s the start of the session and it’s always a complicated process, (but) we do know that this is an economic imperative."

Murtlow and Mills were guests on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick.

Indiana is one of five states without a specific hate crimes law and Governor Eric Holcomb has said he wants to see that change, calling it long overdue.

Still, debate on the issue and whether to include specific characteristics such as sexual orientation and gender identity, which the Governor supports, could become contentious. That concerns business and technology leaders, who fear a repeat of what happened during discussion on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 2015. "The truth is that a couple of years ago our state was painted in a very unfavorable light and that stain on our reputation is not going to go away unless we fix this," said Murtlow.

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