INDIANAPOLIS – State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) had the following comments to the governor’s endorsement of hate crimes language being added to Senate Bill 198:

“I am appalled that the governor would support the language added to SB 198. This does not constitute as a hate crimes bill; gender identity is explicitly left out of this proposal. Republicans’ blatant omission is telling Hoosiers who are attacked because of their gender identity that they don’t matter in this state. This is just another attack on the LGBTQ+ population, and I will not let the supermajority try to divide Hoosiers by only giving protections to some.

“It is unacceptable that the governor would support this amended language after previously declaring he wanted a hate crimes bill that specifically protected sexual orientation and gender identity. What happened that made him flip-flop so easily on this issue?

“If the governor thinks that this takes us off the list of five states without a hate crimes law, then he is sadly mistaken. Every Hoosier deserves to feel safe in Indiana, and I will continue to fight for a true and inclusive hate crimes law in this state.”