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Defendant Marion Millar works for a feminist group which has challenged measures taken by the Scottish National Party’s decentralized government to count transgender people in gender parity goals in public institutions.

A Scottish feminist appeared in court charged with “transphobic” hate crimes for tying a suffragette movement ribbon to a tree.

Marion Millar appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday on six counts of allegedly posting offensive content on social media site Twitter, allegedly of “homophobic and transphobic nature”.

Scottish Police have received six complaints about Millar’s tweet of a photo of a suffragist ribbon tied to a tree. At least one claimed it looked like a noose and therefore the feminist symbol was a threat to a Scottish actor working on a BBC soap opera shot near the site where the ribbon was tied.

Millar was represented at the trial by Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Westminster Joanna Cherry, an openly lesbian lawyer who fell out with her party over its policy of giving transgender people access to spaces reserved for women if they identify as women. .

The QC told the court that his client would not argue against the charges, which had only been presented to him a few minutes earlier, and asked that a date be set for a new hearing.

“I would like to continue without a plea for three reasons,” Cherry said. “The first is practical. Miss Millar only saw the complaint, with the Crown charges, 10 minutes before.”

“The second is that the communication costs are not consistent with the guidelines, so it is not appropriate to plead,” argued the lawyer. “The third is that it has raised serious questions about Miss Millar’s European human rights.”

Millar tweeted his thanks to supporters after the hearing.

Political motives

The feminist activist works for the feminist group For Women Scotland, which in January challenged measures taken by the decentralized government to count men who identify as women as counting for gender parity on boards of directors public bodies. Millar is also helping run the Women Won’t Wheest campaign, a word that means ‘shut up’ in the Scottish dialect.

Unlike England’s Director of Public Prosecutions, the Scottish equivalent – Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain – is a member of the Scottish Government and attends Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet meetings.

The year the SNP, with the support of its allies, the Scottish Green Party, passed the new Hate Crimes and Public Order Bill which gives police and prosecutors new powers to suppress speech deemed offensive – with specific mention of transgender people.

In May, Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, was jailed for eight months for contempt of court over an alleged “puzzle identification” of one of the women who accused Sturgeon’s predecessor, Alex Salmond, of sexual assault during the former Lord Advocate’s unsuccessful attempt to jail him. .

Other Scottish feminists gathered or tweeted in favor of Millar on Tuesday.

The purple, white and green tricolor of the British Women’s Social and Political Union, Britain’s main campaign for women’s suffrage at the turn of the 20th century, has been flown on government buildings across the country in recent years. Ironically, its colors mirror those of the thistle, Scotland’s national flower.


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