Posted BY: | NwoReport

The Democrat-controlled Michigan state House of Representatives just passed a bill that would make it easier for prosecutors to bring supposed “hate crime” charges against dissident speech, in a 59 to 50 vote on June 20.

The proposed legislation, HB 4474, would amend the state’s Ethnic Intimidation Act of 1988 to consider it a hate crime if a person is accused of causing “severe mental anguish” to another individual through perceived verbal intimidation or harassment. The amendment defines the words intimidate or harass as a “willful course of conduct, involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable individual to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.”

A convicted violator could receive a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both and the legislation does provide the court with the option of an alternative sentence that may include an order requiring the offender to complete a period of community service intended to enhance the offender’s understanding of the impact of the offense upon the victim and wider community.

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“Community service under this subdivision must be performed with the consent of and in support of the community targeted in the violation,” the text read in part.

In his remarks on the House floor the same day, bill sponsor Democratic state Rep. Noah Arbit talked about why he feels this legislation is particularly important, especially with regard to recent alleged incidents of vandalism at places of worship and supposed attacks against the LGBTQIA community.

“I’m sick of checking for hiding spots at the gay bar should a gunman open fire. I’m sick of my Chaldean constituents being murdered in their place of business,” said Arbit, who represents a community of Christian refugees from the Middle East. “I’m sick of reading headlines about mosques and churches being desecrated … Michigan can be so much better, and it’s about time that we were.”

Democratic State Rep. Emily Dievendorf echoed the sentiment. “We know that at this time in history, extremism is on the rise. But also, our hate speech has translated into hate actions that put our most vulnerable populations at risk,” she said. (Related: Judge strikes down New York online hate speech law for Violating the First Amendment.)

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