(VitalNews.org) – Democrats in Michigan are pushing the boundaries of the law by passing new legislation in the state House that will make it a felony to deliberately “misgender” someone by not using their preferred pronouns with the intention to intimidate.
The bill seems obviously in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The new legislation passed by the Michigan House, Bill 4474, is part of a bill package that could replace the Ethnic Intimidation Act of Michigan to expand it to include gender identity. Although the bill doesn’t specifically say using the wrong pronouns is a “hate crime,” it says that intentionally intimidating someone based on an identity group, including “gender identity,” is considered to be.
This language is very general, meaning an individual needs to merely feel intimidated by another’s pronoun usage for it to be covered by the law. It could also mean that someone is violating the law if they openly oppose men using women’s bathrooms and locker rooms or object to men competing in women’s sports if expressing these views causes someone to feel intimidated.
Such crimes would be considered a felony and come with a potential maximum $10,000 fine.
In a 59-50 vote, the bill passed the Democrat-majority Michigan House and will move to a Democrat-majority Senate where it’s likely to be sent to Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.
Republican Rep. Angela Rigas criticized her Democrat colleagues in the Michigan House for creating what she calls a “protected class” of those suffering from what she describes as a “delusion.” She accused them of weaponizing “the system against conservatives” and that Democrats want to tell others “how to think.”
Republicans across the nation are pushing back against gender ideology. Whereas states like Michigan are trying to encode protections into law for those with a “gender identity,” other states like Florida are passing legislation
It appears likely that using pronouns that make others uncomfortable on a repeated basis will soon make you a criminal in Michigan, but is it constitutional? The issue of whether or not gender identity should receive special protections under the law will eventually have to be addressed at the federal level.
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