New Michigan Hate Speech Legislation Would Criminalize Making Someone “‘Feel” Threatened

A bill in Michigan would make the act of causing someone to “feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened” a hate crime was passed in the Michigan State House on June 27, 2023. It is now waiting to be voted on in the Michigan Senate. 

Such legislation replaces the current Ethnic Intimidation Act and broadens the categories of people safeguarded by the bill.

The new bill would feature “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as classes shielded from intimidation.

The bill would also expand the definition of a hate crime from threats or property damage as encompassed by the current law to a broader definition that includes bodily injury, damage to personal property, force, intimidation, or threats. 

Under this bill, intimidation is defined as “repeated or continuing harassment of another individual” that makes the victim “feel terrorized, frightened or threatened.” It would not encompass “constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose.”

Michigan State Representative Noah Arbit, who assisted in introducing the legislative items in question, said the bills would make Michigan go from a “national laggard to a national leader” in tackling hate crimes, per The Detroit News. 

“No Michigander should ever feel unsafe or threatened because of who they are or the community they belong to,” Arbit declared on the House floor.

Should this legislation be passed, the hate speech legislation would subject violators of the law to up to 5 years in prison and slap them with a fine of $10,000.

Michigan was looking like a realignment state in light of Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, a time when working class voters across the Midwest began drifting to the Republican side of the aisle.

However, since then, the state has appeared to go back to its Democratic roots. Currently, Democrats have control of the Governor’s office, the State House (56-54), and State Senate (20-18).

The likelihood of this bill passing this legislation is quite high in Michigan. Nevertheless, there must be resistance to such measures. If Michigan is to be a politically competitive state, right-wingers must constantly push back against the Left’s anti-freedom schemes.

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