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British Woman May Find Herself in Jail over ‘Transphobic’ Tweets

A Scottish woman named Marion Millar was recently charged under the Malicious Communications Act — which makes it illegal to send or deliver letters or articles that purposely cause “distress or anxiety” — for posting “transphobic” and “homophobic” tweets in 2019 and 2020. The feminist activist, and mother of two autistic children, faces two years in jail if she’s convicted. Now, it should be noted that even if Millar’s tweets were “transphobic” — a highly expansive concept — putting someone into prison for unsettling speech is authoritarian. In fact, unsettling speech is the kind of expression that most often needs protection. Yet, one of Millar’s offending tweets was reportedly nothing more than a picture of a ribbon representing the suffragette movement.

None of this is surprising. Free-expression rights are being assaulted across Western Europe. In Scotland, for instance, though only 5 percent disagree with the statement “Free speech is an important right,” 21 percent believe it should be a criminal offense to say that someone born biologically male cannot become a woman — and 40 percent under the age of 25 believe this. Earlier this year, the Scottish government proposed hate-crime legislation that would come with seven years’ imprisonment for “stirring up hatred.” And “hate speech” laws are gaining momentum here, as well.

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