A new hate-speech bill passed by the Michigan House of Representatives, HB 4474, would criminalize causing someone to feel threatened by words – including misusing someone’s desired pronouns.
Under HR 4474, hate-crime penalties would apply for causing someone “bodily injury or severe mental anguish.”
If convicted, offenders could face up to five years in prison for such a felony, or a fine of up to $10,000.
According to the bill, “intimidate” is defined 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, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened.”
The bill also considers “sexual orientation” and “gender identity expression” as a protected class.