INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) made the following comments after the Senate failed to advance Senate Bill (SB) 439, pertaining to bias crimes:

“Today we are learning about crimes across the country targeting specific groups of people, and of two incidents here in our state. For the events that took place in Indiana, those crimes may be prosecuted less severely than in 45 other states.

“I am deeply saddened and disturbed that in the wake of these events the Indiana Senate failed to advance SB 439.

“SB 439 would have offered protections for everybody. Not just African-Americans, Muslims, or members of the LGBT community. Everyone would receive protections under the language of this bias-motivated crime bill. Crimes carried out against Christians for their beliefs would receive a harsher penalty. Crimes against Caucasians would be prosecuted if based on race. This language protected all, not just members of a minority.

“Unlike Sen. Delph (R-Carmel), who worked to defeat the bill, I do not think that we should put physical characteristics like hair color on the same level as race and gender. I was informed that the majority caucus would only support a bill if it made characteristics, associations and the like as protected classes similar to religion and race. This is why we cannot get laws like this enacted in this state.

“I will continue to work on this important issue to bring Indiana on par with the 45 other states with bias-crimes laws.”

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Taylor represents Senate District 33 which includes portions of Wayne, Pike, Washington and Center townships in Marion County. For more information on Sen. Taylor, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s33.

NOTE: A photo of Sen. Greg Taylor can be downloaded at: https://indianasenatedemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Taylor.jpg