April 16, 2024


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has backed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling over her stance on Scotland’s new hate crime laws.

Rowling had taken to social media to send a series of mocking posts about trans women designed to test the Hat Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which recently became law to stop people “stirring up hatred.”

Sunak gave a statement to The Daily Telegraph newspaper saying his Conservative party would “always protect” free speech, adding: “People should not be criminalized for stating simple facts on biology.”

Over the weekend, Rowling’s ongoing issues with some forms of trans activism led her to write a thread on X/Twitter in which she described various criminals, a model, a TV presenter and others – all of whom identify as trans women – as women before writing: “Only kidding. Obviously, the people mentioned in the above tweets aren’t women at all, but men, every last one of them.”

She added that if what she had written “qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested.”

Rowling claims the new law, which came into effect yesterday, “placed higher value on the feelings of men performing their idea of femaleness… [over] on the rights and freedoms of actual women and girls,” and added it was “wide open to abuse by activists who wish to silence those of us speaking out.”

Advocates of the Act say the measure provides greater protection against threatening or abusive behavior “intended to stir up hatred” on the grounds of age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity. Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf is among those who backs the law.

Rowling, whose views critics say are transphobic, also says the new law does not protect women as a group. The BBC reported that the Scottish government was expected to include this protection in a separate law for misogyny.



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