Discourse

Woman charged with hate crime after 'transphobic' tweets

The police allege that the three tweets posted by Millar over the course of a year were "homophobic" and "transphobic" in a manner justifying criminal proceedings.
Erin Perse
Erin Perse London, UK
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Leading Scottish women's rights campaigner Marion Millar has been officially charged with a hate crime with "aggravating factors," over three tweets she allegedly posted in 2019 and 2020. The case exemplifies the chilling effect of trans rights legislation on free speech.

Millar, a business-owning accountant from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, was charged with an offense under the Malicious Communications Act 2003 section 127. The charge is currently under consideration by prosecuting authorities with an initial court hearing listed for July 20. She will be represented by Joanna Cherry.

On June 3, Marion Millar was arrested and charged at Coatbridge police station. She was interviewed for two hours, had her DNA sampled, and her fingerprints and pictures taken before being released on bail with conditions, to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on July 20. Women's rights campaigners were waiting outside to support Millar during her police station ordeal, many wearing T-shirts with the #WomenWontWheesht hashtag which she promotes. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison, and her autistic twins will have to somehow do without her for that time.

Having been charged with a criminal offense, Millar set up a crowdfund to cover the costs of her legal defense. Having raised £12,000 in three hours, the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe shut down her campaign. She turned to PayPal and quickly raised the £30,000 needed.

The police allege that the three tweets posted by Millar over the course of a year were "homophobic" and "transphobic" in a manner justifying criminal proceedings. Two separate complaints, by two individuals, were made to the police about Millar's tweets.

Millar told The Post Millennial "This has been an extremely exhausting and stressful time for me, I am struggling with sleep and have started having panic attacks. I don't know were this is going to end for me. I pray to God it's not prison. It is nothing but political bullying, and though I will be scarred for life over this period, I won't let them win. I will not wheesht because woman have rights too, we are entitled to safety and dignity, there is no law that forces us to be kind to men. Well, not yet, but it's still early in the year."

This last comment was in reference to the Hate Crimes Bill which will come into force later this year, and which was resisted by women's rights campaigners as a potential tool for silencing feminist criticism of gender identity laws and policies.

If the prosecution goes ahead, it will be a decisive feminist test case with the eyes of the press trained on the court from around the globe. It will address the question of whether Scottish women actually qualify for the human right to free expression, or are we a second-rate class of support sub-humans who must "wheesht" as our sex-based rights are dismantled? Is campaigning for women's rights really malicious and hateful, or is it a vital part of any healthy democracy to resist women's rights being crushed?

Prior to the police decision to charge her, the women's rights campaigner said that she was unable to eat or sleep with worry. It is understood that one tweet for which she was charged included a picture of a ribbon in the purple, white and green of the suffragette movement.

Millar is a former member of the Scottish National Party, and a current member of For Women Scotland, a high-profile grassroots feminist group which campaigns against gender identity self-identification law reforms, the passage of the Hate Crime Bill which protects cross-dressing men but not women, attempts by government to re-define the word "woman" to include men who want to be treated "like women," and the promotion of harmful transgender ideology to schoolchildren.

Millar, 50, is mother to six children, including twin boys who suffer from severe autism. She practices as an accountant and owns her own firm. She is one of the Scottish women's rights campaigners who tweets on the hashtag #WomenWontWheest (meaning women won't be silent) which is used by supporters of women's rights.

Her Twitter account, which she said she recently locked because of abuse, includes robust defenses of women's existing legal rights, calls out antifeminists who oppose women's rights, criticizes politicians who seek to impose gender identity laws and policies, and calls for trans activists with specific histories of offending—which make them a safeguarding risk—to be kept away from schools and children. As such, the account looks similar to countless "gender critical" women's rights accounts.

Millar's critics characterize her as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or a "terf". In the judgment of Justice Julian Knowles in the High Court free speech and civil liberties case of Miller v College of Policing, the word "terf" refers to feminists whose critics deem them "transphobic" for holding views "such as the claim that transwomen are not women, opposition to transgender rights and exclusion of trans women from women's spaces and organisations. It can be a pejorative term."

Millar says her police ordeal over three tweets has taken a toll on her health. She said "On Wednesday April the 28th 2021 I received a call from a PC Laura Daley from @policescotland requesting I attend an interview for homophobic and transphobic tweets under the Malicious Communications Act. I was asked to attend that coming Friday. She told me I had to attend East Kilbride police station so I could then be transported to Cathcart police station in a police car, because I would have to go to a police station where there are holding cells. I would be then processed, questioned and then most likely charged."

She continued, "I told her I would not be attending any interview on that day, especially with it being a bank holiday weekend, because my autistic twins needed me and I was scared I would be held all weekend. To this she told me she would attend my house with social workers for my boys."

Any mother reading this will be able to imagine how it would feel to be told by police that your children will be taken into care by a social worker while police hold you in a cell, as though you represent a physical threat to society. One can imagine that such treatment would be appropriate for violent criminals, the overwhelming majority of whom are men, but can you imagine being a mother faced with that prospect over posting three tweets?

Millar's fear of imprisonment by the police, with no thought given to her children's welfare, was well-founded. In 2018, Kate Scottow, a mother of two and women's rights campaigner, was arrested at home in front of her autistic child and her breastfeeding baby on the same charge as Millar, following a complaint made by a trans rights activist and serial litigant about some tweets, including one which referred to the male complainant as "he." She was held in a police cell for seven hours, unable to breastfeed, and without sanitary products, before she was even questioned. Although convicted in the Magistrates Court, her conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal and she was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Incumbent Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote at the time that the case was an "abuse of manpower and police facilities…Is this really the right way to fight crime? Is this what our brave police officers signed up to do? Are you really telling me that it is a sensible ordering of priorities, when violence on the streets would seem to be getting out of control?"

These questions seem relevant once again as Police Scotland adopts an identical strategy of pursuing the criminal conviction of a vulnerable mother, with disabled children, for opposing aspects of trans "rights" which undermine women's safety, privacy and dignity.

Millar continued, "I contacted a solicitor straight away and he was unable to get PC Daley, so for the first bank holiday in May I sent my disabled twins away for fear of this officer carrying out this threat. This absolute nonsense has been hanging over my head for a month, I can barely sleep or eat and I still don't know what the offending tweet is. My new interview has been scheduled for Thursday the 27th May. I will find out what I am supposed to have said, at that point, and if I will indeed be charged, again on another bank holiday."

"I just want to say, anyone who knows me knows I am not homophobic or transphobic. I am a hard-working mummy who would fight to the end for the safety and dignity of women and girls, and for my vulnerable twinnies. If we sit back and do nothing we will regret it forever. For this reason I will never Wheesht. #WomenWontWheesht."

The officer pursuing the case against the women's rights campaigner and mother, PC Laura Dailey, is a board member of LGBTI Police Scotland. Police Scotland is a member of the controversial Stonewall Diversity Champion Scheme which, in recent weeks, has lost the confidence—and subscriptions—of public authorities such as the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Justice. In May, equalities minister Liz Truss urged all government departments to quit the scheme.

At the time of writing, Daley's main profile has been removed from the organization's website. On it, she described wanting to be her "authentic" self, telling her mum that she was gay, and being hugged and accepted by her. A second profile describes her career progression from sports therapy to policing in 2017. She writes of joining the LGBTI association "as she has a passion for diversity, and wants individuals to feel happy and free by being their authentic selves."

This rather begs the question as to whether Scottish women should be equally entitled to happily express their authentic selves by defending women's existing rights, and children's safeguarding, free from persecution by way of gender identity ideologues' capture of the criminal justice system. Criminalization and loss of liberty are an extremely high price to pay for free speech.

LGBTI Police Scotland is a police staff association of officers who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual, or transgender, or as having an "intersex" disorder of sexual development. In England, the charity LGB Alliance split from trans lobbyists Stonewall on the grounds that trans rights are inimical to those of same sex-oriented people. Advocates for those with disorders of sexual development have repeatedly asked the trans lobby not to co-opt their complex medical conditions in the service of sex denialism, complaints which have fallen on deaf ears.

Despite these fundamental conflicts of interest between the different groups, LGBTI Scotland claims that its purpose is to make citizens within all of those different minority demographics feel confident in policing. Its vision is to "Advance LGBTI equality, inclusion and support." It says "In order to be effective, based on the UK-wide model of policing, it is vital for all communities to have trust and confidence in the police and feel part of that institution. Tension and mistrust simply make it far more difficult for the police to operate efficiently and 'police by consent.'"

"Policing by consent" means that the legitimacy of policing, in the eyes of the public, derives from a general consensus of support that follows from transparency about their powers, their integrity in exercising those powers, and their accountability for doing so. It remains to be seen whether that principle was applied in the case of Marion Millar.

Prominent Scottish National Party MP Joanna Cherry QC gave her tacit support to Millar. Ms Cherry, who is a former justice spokeswoman at Westminster, a high-ranking barrister, and champion of women's rights, retweeted a news story about the women's rights campaigner.

Ms. Cherry said, before taking the case, she was drawing attention to the story "without comment" as proceedings were active. "I'm aware of the case & taking an interest as someone who is passionate about #CivilLiberties & #WomensRights," she wrote.

Millar's case already attracted international attention. US attorney Jonathan Turley of George Washington University wrote that Ms Millar's case was part of a "free speech fight brewing in Scotland."

"The effort by some to criminally charge advocates [of free speech] like Millar is to silence rather than to respond to opposing viewpoints... Such speech limitations tend to grow with time. Once groups taste the ability to silence others, it becomes an insatiable appetite for censorship and criminalization of speech."

For Women Scotland said "both free speech and women's rights are under attack... Too many people mistake credible, open threats of violence (to which women are well used) with hurt feelings. As Salman Rushdie said: 'Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read.' Police and politicians seem to have lost sight of this."

UK barrister Anya Palmer described Millar's case in terms of political persecution, and pointed to the fact that Police Scotland are Stonewall Diversity Scheme subscribers.

Stonewall's Diversity Champions Scheme has come in for intense criticism of late, with several major public bodies, law firms, universities and private companies exiting the scheme citing concerns about "dubious" training which misrepresents the law, and poor value for money. Other commentators suggest that Scotland needs a new suffragette movement to counter the state's attacks on women's rights and civil liberties.

The free speech campaign Fair Cop has threatened police forces with legal action over Stonewall links amid concerns that the lobby group's transgender training prevents impartiality. It recently wrote to chief constables with notification of pre-action letters to any forces which remain within Stonewall's Diversity Champions scheme beyond a "period of consideration."

An independent barrister recently published the Reindorf report for Essex University which found that Stonewall's advice misrepresents equality laws.

UK women's rights campaigners are at the stage of calling for a full public inquiry into the scandal of sex denialism in government, and for a Truth and Reconciliation commission on how gender identity law and policy captured public bodies, to prevent such an occurrence happening again. If women routinely lose their jobs, their freedom of speech, and their liberty for standing up for their own interests, it's fair to assume that our human rights are merely notional.

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