JK Rowling’s recent social media comments regarding Scotland’s new hate crime law have received complaints, but police have confirmed that they are not being treated as criminal. The Harry Potter author faced backlash for describing several transgender women as men, including convicted prisoners, trans activists, and other public figures. Scotland’s new law introduces a new crime of “stirring up hatred” concerning protected characteristics like disability, religion, sexual orientation, being intersex, or transgender identity.

Despite the complaints, no further action will be taken against Rowling. The anti-hate speech law came into effect on Monday and seeks to tackle a “rising tide of hatred” in society. Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has defended the new legislation.

Rowling’s stance was backed by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who stood by the UK’s tradition of free speech. However, he refrained from expressing support for her approach, stating, “It’s not right for me to comment on police matters, individual matters.” Sunak also contended that the law should not be used to criminalize people for expressing “common sense things about biological sex.”

Senior law lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, Dr Nick McKerrell, expressed doubt that Rowling would be prosecuted. The law’s language requires that the speech be threatening and abusive, which causes fear and alarm for the target of the speech. While some consider Rowling’s statements offensive and shocking, they may fall outside the realm of criminality. The courts have recognized a high threshold for “stirring up hatred,” leading some to assume that the law would not lower it.

Rowling tweeted in response to the reiteration that her comments were not prosecutable, noting that if any woman is charged for calling a man a man, she will repeat those same words

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