Senate passes bill that would prohibit Hoosiers from protesting at a person's home

Sen. Scott Baldwin (left), R-Noblesville, and Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, debate Senate Bill 348 on Tuesday in the Senate Chamber.

The Indiana Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit Hoosiers from protesting at a person's home.

Senate Bill 348 is authored by Sen. Scott Baldwin, R-Noblesville, and Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, and deals with “residential harassment.”

The bill would make “residential harassment, a Class C misdemeanor, to picket or protest before or about a person's dwelling with the intent of harassing the person in the person's dwelling. ... A person may only be taken into custody for the offense if the person refused an order to disperse.”

Senators raising issues about the bill called it vague and said it would prevent constituents from protesting government officials. 

Senate passes bill that would prohibit Hoosiers from protesting at a person's home

Bill co-author Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, speaks on Senate Bill 348 Tuesday. The bill was passed in the Senate with a vote of 29-16.

“How do you determine whether it was the person's intent to harass somebody,” asked Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis. “I may have not had any intent to harass other than be a part of the group, show my displeasure with the person's vote or whatever they said they were going to do.”

Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, said the bill would force officers to enforce a vague law. 

Freeman, meanwhile, pushed for the bill to pass.

“Our homes should be off limits—off limits to everybody, by the way, Republican, Democrat, independent, judiciary, whoever,” he said. “This isn't not protesting a public official. We had plenty of protests here yesterday. There's plenty of protests here any day of the week that you want it, but it shouldn't be at your home.”

The bill passed by a 29-16 vote. 

Xain Ballenger is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

(1) comment


I guess they just do not understand the First Amendment and its protections of freedom of speech. How low will these ill informed legislators reach before suddenly they have taken all or most of our freedoms away?

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