JK Rowling has opposed hate crime legislation

JK Rowling has challenged the police to arrest her as she opposes new hate crime legislation that has just come into force in Scotland.

The new laws came into effect on April 1 and made it a crime to "incite hatred" based on age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or intersex. A person commits an offense if they transmit material or behave in a manner "which a reasonable person would find threatening or offensive" with the intention of inciting hatred based on one of these characteristics. Separate laws will be introduced to combat misogyny as a specific crime, NME reported.

Rowling criticized the new legislation in a lengthy post on the social network X, in which she listed and attacked numerous transgender women for legally having protected status.

"I am currently out of the country, but if what I have written here qualifies as a crime under the terms of the new law, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the homeland of Scottish enlightenment," she wrote.

The writer added that "freedom of speech and belief is on the wane in Scotland" if what she describes as "an accurate description of biological sex" is "deemed a crime".

However, Scotland's First Minister Hamza Youssef addressed the "misinformation" being spread about the bill, particularly by gender-critical groups, saying there was a "triple lock" on speech protections - an express clause on freedom of speech, protection for "reasonable" actions of each accused person and compatibility of the law with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Rowling was reported to the police last month over allegations of transphobic abuse after she claimed TV presenter India Willoughby, who was mentioned in the Harry Potter author's post today, "has not become a woman" and "consumes a misogynistic male fantasy about what a woman is".

Willoughby said Rowling's words were "in breach of both the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act", and later wrote in X that it was being reported as a non-hate crime incident . In response, Rowling stated that "the police will be very busy".

The author has faced backlash for a series of remarks that have been perceived as transphobic dating back to 2020. Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have spoken out against her views and defended transgender women and men.

A number of actors have come to Rowling's defense, including Evanna Lynch, Helena Bonham Carter and Jim Broadbent.

In October, Rowling said she would "gladly" go to jail instead of calling transgender women "women"./BGNES