HB 4474 is designed to replace Michigan's Ethnic Intimidation Act and expand categories of protected classes to include "gender identity or expression" and "sexual orientation." The bill passed in the Democrat-controlled chamber 59-50.
The legislation also calls for someone to be found "guilty of a hate crime" if that person "intimidates" another individual defining the term 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," but fails to define what constitutes "harassment."
The bill says "'Gender identity or expression' means 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 passed, violators could be punished with up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine.
The bill now heads to the Michigan State Senate.
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