A recently passed bill in Michigan would make it a felony to intimidate someone by using the wrong gender pronouns.
Michigan’s state House of Representatives has passed bill HB 4474, a piece of legislation that criminalizes causing someone to feel threatened by words.
Under the new bill, offenders are “guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000.”
“‘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 reads.
The bill specifically addresses “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as protected classes.
According to the bill, “‘Gender identity or expression’ means having or being perceived as having a gender-related self-identity or expression whether or not associated with an individual’s assigned sex at birth.”
Critics are accusing the bill of violating the First Amendment by compelling speech and outlawing basic expression of traditional, scientific view of sex and gender.
The bill was passed by the Democrat-controlled state House in a 59-50 vote. It now moves to the Michigan State Senate for consideration.
If approved by the state senate, it will be sent for approval to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to sign it.
Michigan lawmakers gave final approval to legislation banning “conversion therapy” for minors as Democrats in the state continue to advance a pro-LGBTQ+ agenda in their first months in power.
The legislation would prohibit mental health professionals from trying to convert youths who are LGBTQ+ to heterosexuality and traditional gender expectations.