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Tech Leaders: Lack Of Hate Crimes Law 'Black Eye' For Indiana

ClearObject CEO John McDonald standing at a podium in front of a banner that says indiana technology and innovation association

ClearObject CEO John McDonald is a board member of the Indiana Technology and Innovation Association. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana tech industry leaders say the lack of a comprehensive hate crimes law is a barrier to attracting talent.

Those leaders say they’re ready to engage with lawmakers to advance the issue.

Many in the business community want a hate crimes bill with a list of victim characteristics. And they were upset when Senate Republicans eliminated that list earlier this session. Clear Software CEO Jon Gilman says if House lawmakers don’t add it back in, they’ll give Indiana a “black eye.”

“Just simply reaffirms the reputation of Indiana as being socially regressive and essentially not inclusive,” Gilman says.

ClearObject CEO John McDonald is on the board of the Indiana Technology and Innovation Association. He says he wants tech companies to dispel the myth that Hoosiers don’t care about the hate crimes debate.

“Get engaged with their local legislators and help them understand the importance of this issue, not on a sort of a wide scale but specifically, in that district, to those companies,” McDonald says.

House GOP leaders are not supportive of a hate crimes law with a list of victim characteristics, though Gov. Eric Holcomb has advocated for one.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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