INDIANAPOLIS — On Tuesday, the Indiana Senate Democrats walked out of the Senate Chamber in protest of the disrespect shown by Senate Republicans in amending a bias crimes bill into a watered down proposal that tells Hoosiers that the Indiana legislature does not care about our most vulnerable citizens.

On the Senate floor, Senators Taylor, Randolph, Ford and Lanane implored the Senate to show respect to the caucus who represents and embodies the minority population in Indiana.

Senate Democrats have fought for an inclusive bias crimes law in Indiana that protects all Hoosiers regardless of an individual’s race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation or age for six consecutive years.

Senate Bill 12, the most widely supported bias crimes bill by Hoosier businesses and communities, passed out of the Senate Public Policy Committee yesterday with a vote of 9-1 with overwhelming bipartisan support.

On Tuesday, Senator Freeman authored an amendment that removes the list of protected classes from the bill telling Hoosiers that they don’t matter. They have chosen to continue to be one of five states without a true bias crimes law and have gone against the requests of their own governor.

The Indiana Senate as the upper chamber of the legislature did not do their job today. They passed the buck and we did not protect Hoosiers.