Republican state lawmakers in Michigan are sounding the alarm on a piece of legislation that, should it become law, would result in jailing residents for “hurt feelings.”
According to The Daily Wire, “Republicans are warning that a new hate speech bill could place individuals in jail for ‘misgendering’ and hurting the ‘feelings’ of others.”
The bill would create a hate crime for making someone “feel terrorized, frightened, or threatened.” If it makes it into law, the bill would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as protected classes. Thus, violators would be subject to a felony charge that included up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“It’s a bill that intends to bring prosecution for hurt feelings,” state Representative Brad Paquette (R-MI) told The Washington Examiner last week.
“The bill is founded in pure narcissism and victim mentality that’s built upon gender theory. It’s one that seeks to force others who adamantly disagree with gender theory to live in another’s delusion,” he added.
Paquette went further and speculated that the Michigan bill is part of a broader nationwide push to massively change the country.
“I think gender theory is one of the biggest threats to our nation,” he told the Examiner.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who is gay, says the law is needed because the current ones are “woefully inadequate to address the rise and escalation of crimes that we’re seeing today.”
But another state Republican, Rep. Steve Carras, said the measure is far too broad and would destroy constitutional speech protections.
“This legislation opens the door to severe penalties for words,” Carra told The Examiner. “Despite some speech being completely reprehensible, one of the wonderful things about our country is that you have the right to say it without fear of government retaliation or oppression.”
If the measure passes, it’s expected that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign it, the Daily Wire reported.