Indiana Senate approves stripped-down hate crimes bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate has passed a stripped down hate crimes bill and sent the measure to the House.

The GOP-dominated Senate voted 39-10 Thursday on the amended legislation that removed a list of specifically protected characteristics including sexual orientation, gender identity and race.

Among those voting against the bill were authors Republican Ron Alting of Lafayette and Democrat Greg Taylor of Indianapolis.

The amendment stripping the list of protected characteristics was approved Tuesday, immediately drawing criticism from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, civil rights activists and business interests. Holcomb included the original legislation among his legislative priorities for the 2019 session and said the amended bill "does not get Indiana off the list of states without a bias crime law." Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming also have no hate crime laws.

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