J.K. Rowling Challenges Police to Arrest Her Following New Scottish Hate Crime Law

The 'Harry Potter' author posted a series of anti-transgender social media posts in response to the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act

<p>Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty</p> J.K. Rowling

Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling has challenged Scottish police to arrest her following a set of social media posts in which she describes transgender women as men.

On Monday, the controversial Harry Potter author, 58, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which went into effect on April 1, 2024.

In a series of social media posts, Rowling — who has previously been criticized for anti-transgender comments, as well as her support for others with anti-transgender views — listed the names and photos of a number of trans women, including both activists and convicted criminals, and described them as men.

<p>Stuart C. Wilson/Getty </p> J.K. Rowling in 2022

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty

J.K. Rowling in 2022

“I'm currently out of the country, but if what I've written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” Rowling wrote.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act aims “to make provision about the aggravation of offences by prejudice," including "racially aggravated harassment" and "offences relating to stirring up hatred against a group of persons."

Related: Harry Potter Star Rupert Grint Speaks Out After J.K. Rowling Defends Her Transgender Comments

The act was originally passed by Scottish Parliament in 2021 to address hate crime in the country, and has garnered concerns about freedom of speech, according to The Guardian. Rowling stated that “freedom of speech and belief are at an end” in Scotland in her social media post.

According to the BBC, the law doesn’t protect women as a group from hate, and misogyny is expected to be addressed in a separate law. The maximum penalty under the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act is a seven-year jail sentence.

<p>Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty</p> J.K. Rowling in 2019

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

J.K. Rowling in 2019

Related: Daniel Radcliffe Says He's 'Deeply Sorry for the Pain' Caused by J.K. Rowling's Tweets on Gender Identity

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Rowling has routinely come under fire for her anti-trans comments since 2020, which many LBGTQ+ organizations, activists and even Harry Potter fan sites have roundly condemned.

Numerous celebrities have also spoken out against the author's comments, including Cynthia Nixon and Pete Davidson. Others, including Harry Potter actors Robbie Coltrane and Ralph Fiennes, have disagreed with the criticism directed toward Rowling.

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