Scotland's new 'hate crime' law comes into effect

Critics of the legislation say it's an attack on free speech and open to abuse.

Remove Ads

Scotland's controversial new "hate speech" law is set to take effect today, sparking concern among those who value freedom of speech and oppose censorship.

Called the Hate Crime and Public Order Act, the new law will empower law enforcement to go after people who engage in "threatening or abusive behaviour which is intended to stir up hatred."

The law particularly focuses on "abusive behaviour" towards people on the grounds of sexual orientation, transgender identity, religion, age, and disability status. "Hate crime" allegations will be able to be made anonymously under the new legislation, with no identifiable victim.

Of course, what constitutes threatening or abusive behaviour is highly subjective, and many free speech advocates and feminists are concerned the new law could be weaponized by transgender activists.

Proponents of the new measures say it's an important step in protecting vulnerable communities, including transgender individuals, and will make Scotland a more tolerant place.

However critics of the legislation including author J.K. Rowling — say the new law hurts real women and stifles freedom of expression.

As reported in The Guardian, Scottish MP Joanna Cherry has said that she is sure the new law “will be weaponized by trans rights activists to try to silence, and worse still criminalise, women who do not share their beliefs”.

Speaking about the new law, J.K. Rowling said it's "wide open to abuse by activists who wish to silence those of us speaking out about the dangers of eliminating women's and girls' single-sex spaces, the nonsense made of crime data if violent and sexual assaults committed by men are recorded as female crimes, the grotesque unfairness of allowing males to compete in female sports, the injustice of women's jobs, honours and opportunities being taken by trans-identified men, and the reality and immutability of biological sex," reports Sky News.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has been a staunch defender of the new "hate crime" law. As further detailed by Sky News, Yousaf claims there's been a "rising tide of hatred against people because of their protected characteristics."

The first minister added that he's "very proud of the hate crime act," and says it can "protect people from hatred, while at the same time protecting terms of their freedom of expression."

Protesters have taken to the streets in Edinburgh in opposition to the recently-enacted censorship measures.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads