New Michigan Hate Speech Bill Focuses on Your ‘Feelings’ – Watch OUT
A new hate speech bill being considered in Michigan would make it a felony to make someone “feel” threatened based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics.
The bill, HB 4474, was introduced by Democratic Rep. Noah Arbit and would amend the state’s ethnic intimidation law. Under the bill, it would be a hate crime to cause someone to “feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened.” Under the bill’s framework, “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” are included as classes protected against intimidation. If passed, the hate speech legislation would make violators guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus William Wagner, a former federal judge and legal counsel in the U.S. Senate, joined a number of politicians and lawyers warning against the bill.
“Make no mistake about it. Those advocating for this legislation will wield these policies as a weapon capable of destroying conservative expression or viewpoints grounded in the sacred,” Wagner told The Daily Wire. “One merely needs to look at the scores of cases brought against schools, churches, businesses, and individuals around our country. Proponents use these laws to silence and financially cripple those who dare to adhere to a different viewpoint and oppose their agenda.”
Wagner claimed that under HB 4474, someone could listen to a speaker such as a religious preacher or read a conservative writer and claim they’re being intimidated because their “perceived gender identity” is under attack. Under the legislation, intimidation and harassment could be up to the interpretation of the listener and a local prosecutor, according to Wagner. He also noted that the bill determines what is criminal “after the action,” the opposite of the due process required by the Constitution.
“’Intimidate’ means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable individual to feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened,” the bill states.
Rep. Angela Rigas said, “The state of Michigan is now explicitly allowing the gender delusion issue to be used as a ‘protected class.’ This opens up numerous issues when it comes to the courts and the continued weaponization of the system against conservatives,” Rigas said. “We saw similar concerns when they wanted to pass blocks on ‘conversion’ therapy. It seems Dems want to be in the business of telling people how to think. We are determined to keep choice and opinion a free choice despite those efforts.”
Happening Now: the Michigan democrat legislature is pushing through a bill that will make “hate speech” a hate crime punishable by $10,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
Under this law something as simple as a preacher speaking their beliefs or parents attending a school board… pic.twitter.com/SqMV0Gax7I
— 🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 (@Travis_in_Flint) June 21, 2023