The State of Michigan’s Court of Appeals yesterday unanimously ruled that Transgendered residents in Michigan are protected by the state’s ethnic intimidation law.
According to Webster's dictionary the definition of the word ethnic is as follows:
"of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background"
Michigan’s ethnic intimidation law Act 328 of 1931 750.147b Ethnic intimidation Sec. 147b states:
(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:
(a) Causes physical contact with another person.
(b) Damages, destroys, or defaces any real or personal property of another person.
(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.
(2) Ethnic intimidation is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
(3) Regardless of the existence or outcome of any criminal prosecution, a person who suffers injury to his or her person or damage to his or her property as a result of ethnic intimidation may bring a civil cause of action against the person who commits the offense to secure an injunction, actual damages, including damages for emotional distress, or other appropriate relief. A plaintiff who prevails in a civil action brought pursuant to this section may recover both of the following:
(a) Damages in the amount of 3 times the actual damages described in this subsection or $2,000.00, whichever is greater.
(b) Reasonable attorney fees and costs.
To make it simple Michigan’s ethnic intimidation law makes it a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison, to assault or damage the property of someone based on their “race, color, religion, gender or national origin.”
I have two thoughts about this. Instead of changing the definition of words like gender why not add words to the law which include transgender and pretty much everything else? I use the words “pretty much everything else” because with this ruling they have opened a Pandora’s Box. I use the words “Pandora’s Box” because if they were not to allow other people's interpretation of the word “gender” that would be discriminatory and bigoted against them.
That is why I believe they should add the words transgender instead of redefining the word gender. That being said I have a few questions that I believe deserve to be answered.
Is this not a law that the Michigan Appeals Court is changing?
Is that not the responsibility of the legislature to create or change Michigan law?
The courts are supposed to interpret the law when asked but are they supposed to make up what is in that law by changing the definition of words in that law?
Could this be inferred as the Judicial branch of Michigan’s government infringing on the Legislative branch?
My second thought is this, is a crime a crime or is it a crime to be interpreted depending on the victim?
Michigan’s ethnic intimidation law makes it a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison, to assault or damage the property of someone based on their “race, color, religion, gender or national origin”.
Should it not be a felony that is “punishable by up to two years in prison, to assault or damage the property" of any human being?
Is it not a felony that is “punishable by up to two years in prison, to assault or damage the property” of someone if it is not based on someone’s “race, color, religion, gender or national origin”?
Just some common sense thoughts and questions on the issues of the day. Will the court answer these questions, of course not? They will simply say we have spoken through our ruling and we do not need to explain ourselves any further.