Will JK Rowling be arrested for hate law comments ? Scotland Police says… - Hindustan Times
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Will JK Rowling be arrested for hate law comments ? Scotland Police says…

Apr 02, 2024 09:47 PM IST

Rowling, while challenging Scotland's hate law, had called several ‘transgender women’ men.

JK Rowling’s comments challenging Scotland’s new hate crime law won’t be treated as a criminal, Scotland police have said.

Writer J.K. Rowling attends the British premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' movie in London, Britain, November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo(REUTERS)
Writer J.K. Rowling attends the British premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' movie in London, Britain, November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo(REUTERS)

Reacting, JK Rowling wrote on X: “I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women - irrespective of profile or financial means - will be treated equally under the law.”

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The Harry Potter author described several transgender women as men in a series of social media posts.

Several X users praised Rowling for “defanging” the new law. One user wrote: “Don't think I've ever seen a piece of legislation quite so efficiently or swiftly defanged. Time for this toothless tiger of an Act to go get some sleep on the statute books and fall into magisterial early retirement and disuse.”

Another said: “Strategic Success! Thank you JK Rowling for deliverance from the threat of being criminalised for speaking our minds, in 2024! A brilliant, self-less act and a courageous successful strategy.”

What is the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021?

The act that came into effect on Monday make it a criminal offence to make “derogatory” comments against disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or being intersex.

Sunak supports Rowling

Earlier, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday came out in support of ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling over her stance against a new hate crime law enforced by the devolved government of Scotland, which she says restricts free speech.

“People should not be criminalised for stating simple facts on biology. We believe in free speech in this country, and Conservatives will always protect it,” Sunak had said in a statement.

In a series of social media posts on Monday, Rowling – a vocal defender of women's only spaces when being balanced with the rights of transexuals – referenced several transgender women as men, including convicted prisoners, trans activists and other public figures. The award-winning Scottish author, who lives in Edinburgh, then invited police to arrest her if they believed she had committed an offence under the new law.

“I'm currently out of the country, but if what I've written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” Rowling had written on X, formerly Twitter.

Rowling, 58, had said the members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who voted for the new hate crime laws had “placed higher value on the feelings of men performing their idea of femaleness, however misogynistically or opportunistically, than on the rights and freedoms of actual women and girls”.

With inputs from agencies

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