- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2024

J.K. Rowling, the acclaimed author of the Harry Potter series, is standing up against hate crime legislation in the U.K.

The 58-year-old writer, who often speaks out on transgender issues, doesn’t like the statutes that took effect Monday.

“Freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal,” she wrote on X to her 14 million followers. “I’m currently out of the country, but if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offense under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.”

Ms. Rowling said the new hate-crime laws could lead to some being wrongfully arrested.

“It is impossible to accurately describe or tackle the reality of violence and sexual violence committed against women and girls, or address the current assault on women’s and girls’ rights unless we are allowed to call a man a man,” she said. “The legislation is 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.”

She ended her post with the hashtags, “#ArrestMe #AprilFools #HateCrimeActScotland.”

Ms. Rowling‘s latest remarks arose against the backdrop of advisory notes from the Scottish Parliament suggesting that online misgendering could lead to investigations under the Hate Crime and Public Order Act’s new provisions. The act aims to cut down on hatred and bias across various protected categories, including age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Ms. Rowling has expressed her readiness to face incarceration over her stand on transgender issues. In a display of defiance last October, she reacted to an online post that stated, “Trans Women Are Women,” with a succinct “No.”

In a follow-up statement, she stated, “I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex,” inviting legal challenges with a tone of noncompliance.

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