The Michigan state Senate has passed a bill that would double the fine for disrupting a religious service to $1,000.According to ClickOnDetroit.com, the bill came in reaction to a protest by the self-described homosexual anarchist group, “Bash Back” in 2008 at a church in West Lansing, Michigan.
During this incident, 30 members of Bash Back allegedly burst into Mount Hope church during a Sunday service. The group allegedly set off fire alarms, vandalised the church and shouted obscenities at church members they confronted, reports Catholic Online. They also reported no arrests were made during this incident.
Under the new law, anyone who purposefully disrupts a legal religious gathering will face up to 93 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A repeat offender can see the fine grow to $5,000. Previously the law only called for a maximum of a $500 fine, according to Christopher Behnan at the Livingston Daily.
“Nobody should fear disruption of their worship services by political opponents, and this legislation should shield them from such chaos,” Rep. Deb Shaughnessy said in a statement.
Every state handles this offence differently but some, like Virginia and New York, treat it as a serious misdemeanour. The penalty in Virginia is even more severe than Michigan with a maximum fine of $2,500.