The Indiana legislature is full of its ups and downs. In December I was lead to believe that we had stopped a Dangerous “hate crime” bill that is a step toward “hate speech” and “thought crimes.” That wasn’t true.
In many countries, including the United States, “hate” and “bias crime” laws have been used to punish or silence non-violent people who were simply expressing religious or traditional values. In America we were founded upon a fundamental right of free speech and religion. People in the US are punished for what they do, not for what they say or believe.
Unfortunately, Senate Bill 418, a bias-crime law, is going to get a committee hearing tomorrow morning (Tuesday January 23rd) and probably a vote.
This is a media-driven bill. Hate crimes were less than 0.0004% of all the crimes committed in Indiana in 2016. There is no evidence that these few crimes are not already being adequately prosecuted and sentenced in Indiana. SB 418 is not needed.