A woman from San Jacinto, California is reportedly sentenced to more than one year's imprisonment after threatening to bomb the all-girls Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School over her stance against same-sex marriage.
The Christian Headlines reported that a 36-year-old Sonia Tabizada has been sentenced to 15 months and 13 days of imprisonment after being arrested and charged for threatening to bomb the school based in Washington, D.C. in defiance to the latter's decision to support same-sex marriage.
The Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School was reported by The Christian Post to have decided to published in their magazine wedding announcements for same-sex couples. Tabizada, upon seeing the announcements, threatened school officials with violence if they did not revert their decision for their publication.
"No school and no child should be subjected to death threats because of their religious beliefs. The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute violent threats motivated by bias," said Justice Department's Civil Rights Division Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan.
According to the Department of Justice's press release dated March 26, Tabizada is charged with "intentionally obstructing persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs by threatening to bomb the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C."
The press release narrated that the school announced the publication of same-sex wedding announcement in May 2019 and focused on its teaching that "we are all children of God ... worthy of respect and love" instead of what the Catholic church actually teaches in its doctrine. The announcement pushed Tabizada to leave a voice message threatening to "burn and bomb the church" and that "she was going to kill school officials and students". The threat to bomb the school came in a second voice mail.
"The citizens of the District of Columbia and our country are entitled to freely exercise their religious beliefs and to be free from threats of violence based on bias-be it against religion, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is committed to protecting the civil rights of all our citizens and will do so by vigorously enforcing both federal and local hate crime laws." said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia," the press release said.
In addition, the press release said that the case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office before it was prosecuted by Civil Rights Section and Trial Attorney Michael J. Songer of the Civil Rights Division.
"The free exercise of religion is one of our nation's most sacred constitutional rights. The FBI will continue to prioritize threats of violence and civil rights violations to ensure every citizen and community is free to exercise all of their protected liberties without fear and threats of violence," the press release quoted FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D'Antuono in saying.
In addition to more than a year of imprisonment, Tabizada will also undergo another two year's worth of "supervised release with special conditions," such that she would have to get a court's approval if she wants to leave the country, according to The Washington Gazette.