Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is pushing for Indiana to join the 45 states that have hate crime laws.
But as Indiana's annual legislative session approaches, some warn that such a proposal could spark a bitter cultural debate and draw unwanted attention to the deeply conservative state.
They cite like a 2015 religious objections law that was panned by critics as a sanctioning of discrimination against the LGBT community.
Holcomb told The Associated Press on Friday that passing a hate crimes law is "not only the right thing to do, it's long overdue." Many business leaders agree, saying it's important for the state's reputation.
Many social conservatives disagree, including members of the Republican-dominated Legislature. Lawmakers have shut down recent attempts to pass a hate crime law.