[...] could make it a felony to intimidate someone by intentionally using the wrong gender pronouns, according to some legal experts.
Under the new bill, offenders are "guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000."
The bill does describe Hate Crimes:
A person is guilty of a hate crime if that person maliciously .and intentionally does any of the following to an individual based in whole or in part on an actual or perceived characteristic of that individual listed under subsection (2), regardless of the existence of any other motivating factors:
- (a) Uses force or violence on another individual.
- (b) Causes bodily injury to another individual.
- (c) Intimidates another individual.
- (d) Damages, destroys, or defaces any real, personal, digital, or online property of another individual without the consent of that individual.
- (e) Threatens, by word or act, to do any of the actions described under subdivisions (a) to (d). (2)
The actual or perceived characteristics of another individual referenced under subsection (1) include all of the following:
- (a) Race or color.
- (b) Religion.
- (c) Sex.
- (d) Sexual orientation.
- (e) Gender identity or expression.
- (f) Physical or mental disability.
- (g) Age.
- (h) Ethnicity.
- (i) National origin.
However, there is no mention of pronouns.
Is their claim true? Is there any scenario in which wrong pronouns could result in up to 5 years in jail and up to $10,000 fine?
Credible sources from legal experts would be highly appreciated.
Top answers provide interesting opinions, but I would appreciate credible sources. Also despite the emphatic "no" I need an explanation to a simple scenario that stems from them as discussed in comments:
DoJ defines "hate crime" as:
“hate” means bias against people or groups with specific characteristics that are defined by the law.
At the federal level, hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
For example, what happens if someone threatens (intimidation) a person with defacing their property and misgenders them? Does the new law increase the penalty to up to 5 years from up to 2 (previous law)?
(1) A person is guilty of ethnic intimidation if that person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person's race, color, religion, gender, or national origin, does any of the following: [...] (c) Threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (a) or (b), if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in subdivision (a) or (b) will occur. Ethnic intimidation is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years
So, if the answer is "new law doubles the felony jail-time", then please address it.