INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb was mostly quiet about a proposed hate crimes law that was killed in the Indiana Senate this week.

But the Indianapolis Star reports his office worked behind the scenes, pushing for the inclusion of transgender people in the bill — or not passing anything at all.

Republican Senate leader David Long said the message from the governor's office was clear.

They wanted to avoid a public relations catastrophe like the uproar over a 2015 law that was changed after critics charged it allowed discrimination against gay people.

Holcomb's critics say the governor has failed to lead. Indiana is one of just five states without a hate crimes law.

They say his unwillingness to publicly weigh in was a lost opportunity.

Holcomb declined to comment.

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