A bill that was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives would make it a hate crime to use the wrong gender pronouns to identify someone.
Bill HB 4474 aims to criminalize the act of causing someone to feel threatened by using words that do not correctly identify them.
This piece of legislation states that someone who intentionally “intimidates another individual” or threatens them “by word or act” based “in whole or in part on an actual or perceived characteristic” including sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, is “guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000.”
“Intimidate” is defined in the bill as 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.”
“Gender identity or expression” is defined as “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.”
Using somebody's wrong pronouns is about to become a felony in Michigan punishable by 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
This is in addition to using words that cause somebody to "feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened"
HB 4474 has already passed the state House of Reps pic.twitter.com/FxPQLVZeKI
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 29, 2023
Critics of this legislation are accusing it of being in violation of the First Amendment because it outlaws the personal choice to adhere to the traditional, scientific views of sex and gender.
Due to its unconstitutional nature, many believe it will get squashed by the Supreme Court.
Conservative author John Hawkins tweeted that, if the bill passes, it’s “eventually going to get shot down at the Supreme Court because it’s almost comically out-of-step with the First Amendment.”
If it passes, that's eventually going to get shot down at the Supreme Court because it's almost comically out-of-step with the First Amendment.
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) June 29, 2023
Speaking to The Daily Wire, former federal judge Professor William Wagner said, “Make no mistake about it. Those advocating for this legislation will wield these policies as a weapon capable of destroying conservative expressions or viewpoints grounded in the sacred.”
“One merely needs to look at the scores of cases brought against schools, churches, businesses, and individuals around our country,” Wagner added. “Proponents use these laws to silence and financially cripple those who dare to adhere to a different viewpoint and oppose their agenda.”
The bill will now move on to the Michigan State Senate. If approved, it will be sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) who is expected to sign it.