Court date finalised for Scots feminist charged with ‘hate crime’

MARION Millar, the Scottish feminist campaigner accused of a hate crime, is to appear in court next week, the Crown Office has confirmed.

The 50-year-old accountant from Airdrie, who is represented by SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, will have her initial bail hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

It had initally been set for July 20, then delayed by prosecutors to August 17, before being delayed again to August 31, the day Holyrood returns from recess.

Ms Millar has been accused of posting allegedly homophobic and transphobic material on social media in 2019 and 2020, including a tweet showing a ribbon on the purple, white and green of the suffragette movement.

She has charged on June 3 under Section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act, which criminalises “grossly offensive” messages, with a “hate crime aggravator”.

The mother of austistic twin boys could face two years in jail if convicted.

A supporter of sex-based rights for women who opposes transgender self-identification, she is seen by her critics as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or Terf.

She has helped promote the #WomenWontWheest hashtag now widely used on social media.

Ms Cherry, who shares some of Ms Millar’s views on gender recognition, is to lead her defence with advocate Paul Harvey as junior counsel.

It is understood the defence will involve human rights issues.

Ms Cherry tonight drew attention to a Twitter post from the For Women Scotland group about the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Office Service finally settling on August 31 for the appearance.

For Women Scotland wrote: “Today, the Crown has advised Marion’s lawyers that her case will call as scheduled 10am 31st August, Glasgow Sheriff Court.

“Marion will make no further comment at this time.

“She and her family have been under immense stress and it would be appropriate if she be left in peace.

“Marion has asked us to thank all her supporters for helping her through this difficult period.

“She will be taking a break from Social Media.”

The case has already attracted international attention on free speech grounds.

The American legal analyst Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Chair of Public interest Law at George Washington University, has called it part of a “free speech fight brewing in Scotland”.

Gender-critical feminists such as Ms Millar disagree with those LGBT activists who think gender identity should be prioritised over biological sex in government policy and the law.

The former fear the advance of transgender rights is at the expense of hard-won women’s rights, while the latter see the focus on biological sex as transphobic.

Ms Millar’s previous court dates have seen demonstrations in support of her, including visits to Glasgow by Graham Linehan, the TV comedy writer behind Father Ted. 

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992