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Rally to be held to protest Indiana Hate Crimes Law

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) Local and state leaders of the NAACP are demanding a call to action to fix the Indiana Hate Crimes Law.  

On Saturday they will hold a rally to protest the law and to call for changes.  

"We are taxpayers. We deserve to be protected," Terre Haute Greater NAACP President Sylvester Edwards said.  

Saturday community members and residents are expected to pack the steps of the Vigo County Courthouse to protest Indiana Hate Crime Law.  

"Anytime that anybody has been oppressed we have to come together and make sure that the law changes for the betterment of our citizens," Edwards said.   

Similar rallies will be held across the state on Saturday, hoping to protect the most vulnerable.  

The Indiana Hate Crime Law was signed into law back in April.  

The law protects against race, religion and disability discrimination; however, it fails to list gender identity, gender, sex and age. 

Some residents here in the Wabash Valley are noticeably upset.  

The Greater Terre Haute Branch of the NAACP President Sylvester Edwards says the law fails to protect Indiana residents.  

"So, if we got 92 different ways at looking at things instead of having a bill that is inclusive which would say the judge or the system or the law shall instead of may make determinations where it's a hate crime," Edwards said.  

Edwards says that's why the rally is so important and that everyone needs to join together to make the law more inclusive.   

"And as Indiana goes the rest of the county goes also so this is like a test lab for the rest of the country," Edwards said. "It's wrong in the beginning, it's wrong in the middle and it's wrong at the end." 

Edwards says the rally will be the first of many.  

The goal is to have a rally on the same day in all 92 counties to show lawmakers the importance of the issue. 

The rally is this Saturday, May 18th at noon at the Vigo County Courthouse. 


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