Western Michigan U. Prof Suggests State’s “‘Hate Speech’ Bill Could Criminalize Conservative Opinion”
“Proponents use these laws to silence and financially cripple those who dare to adhere to a different viewpoint and oppose their agenda.”
It could do that? You could make a case that that is the entire point of bills like this.
The College Fix reports:
Professor: Michigan ‘hate speech’ bill could criminalize conservative opinion
A “hate speech” bill making its way through the Michigan legislature would end up muzzling conservative and right-of-center viewpoints, a professor emeritus at Western Michigan University says.
House Bill 4474, already passed by the Democrat-controlled state House of Representatives, would make it a hate crime “to cause someone to ‘feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened,’” according to The Daily Wire.
“Sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” are protected categories in the bill, and those who allegedly spark “frightened” feelings in someone in a protected class could face a felony charge with a $10,000 fine … and up to five years in jail.
Interestingly, the term “harassment” is not specifically defined in the bill.
But “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.”
If the bill passes the Michigan Senate, which also is Democrat-controlled (albeit by a smaller majority), Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign it into law.
Conservatives are wary of the bill’s implications. Western Michigan U.’s William Wagner (pictured) said “Make no mistake about it. Those advocating for this legislation will wield these policies as a weapon capable of destroying conservative expression 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 continued. “Proponents use these laws to silence and financially cripple those who dare to adhere to a different viewpoint and oppose their agenda.”
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