Police not pressing charges after JK Rowling dares them to arrest her for challenging hate speech law

J.K. Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” book series, challenged Scotland’s new hate speech law on Monday, and police have declared they will not prosecute the author. 

Scotland’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Act was activated on April 1. The text of the bill, originally introduced years before, warns against acts that “stir up hatred against a group of persons” of certain protected characteristics, including age, disability, religion or, in the case of a social or cultural group, perceived religious affiliation, sexual orientation, transgender identity, and variations in sex characteristics. The maximum penalty is a seven-year jail sentence. 

Rowling, who lives in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, began an April Fool’s Day social media thread by listing multiple biologically male criminals who claimed to be transgender just prior to being sentenced for various horrific crimes, expressing mock relief their avowed gender identities were being respected. She then switched her rhetoric and declared, “Only kidding. Obviously, the people mentioned in the above tweets aren’t women at all, but men, every last one of them.” 

After slamming Scotland’s new hate speech bill directly, Rowling declared, “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.”

The BBC reported on Tuesday afternoon that “Social media comments made by JK Rowling challenging Scotland’s new hate crime law are not being treated as criminal, Police Scotland has said.”

Rowling and police officers

Police Scotland reportedly declared their force will not take action against author J.K. Rowling for her online speech about transgender identity.

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