Scotland's Transgender Hate Crime Law Already Showing How It Leads To Tyranny

News Image By Jarrett Stepman/Daily Signal April 17, 2024
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Scotland's new "hate crime" law already is demonstrating how it will be used to squash dissent and free speech.

The so-called Hate Crime and Public Order Act, which went into force in Scotland on April Fools' Day, adds age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity to a list of protected classes.

The law provides for various potential punishments, including jail time.

The new law has been fiercely criticized by author J.K. Rowling, creator of the "Harry Potter" series, and many others who rightly see it as an attack on the freedom of speech.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said the bill is about "protecting people from a rising tide of hatred." But who will protect the people's God-given right to free speech?

When asked about activists who are creating lists of other people to target when the law goes into effect, Yousaf said that the only ones who should worry are those who are stirring up hatred.

But who decides what exactly stirring up "hatred" really means?

Siobhian Brown, Scotland's minister for victims and community safety, was asked whether intentionally "misgendering" someone would be considered a crime under the law. At first she said, "Not at all," then continued: "It could be reported and it could be investigated. Whether or not the police would think it was criminal is up to Police Scotland."

Very reassuring.

The response to the law has been predictable.

Scottish police reportedly "received more than 7,000 online reports of offences in the first week since the introduction of a new hate crime law."

Police have called the law an unsustainable burden on their force. Frankly, I'm more concerned with the burden this law and ones like it are placing on the fraying threads holding up the fleeting notion that those living under such measures really live in a "free" society.

I don't buy the premise that this law was created just to protect the vulnerable and that the Scottish people have nothing to worry about.

Let's call this what it is: a secular, authoritarian blasphemy law, as my Scottish friend Madeline Kearns described it in National Review.

My feeling is that this legislation was created by left-wing politicians to be a weapon in the hands of their activist base. The institutional-activist partnership is part of the same perverse circulatory system, and the pols are simply putting another prop in place to secure their power to control thought and discourse.

Despite a flood of evidence that the entire gender transition movement is based on lies and false premises, it nevertheless remains the dominant ethos in the West's elite cultural and political institutions.

These institutions don't rely on science or popularity, but are instead bound together by a particular globalist ideology and worldview. Whether one calls this "NextGen Marxism," as my colleague Mike Gonzalez has in his new book, or DEI, or simply the Left, the ethos is undeniably dominant in the West's most elite circles.

That's not changing, yet.

What is changing is that there is now a more aggressive, one might call it "populist," counter to this worldview that's growing against our farcical pseudo-elite.

This movement is broad and includes many "intellectuals" as well as ordinary people. It's caused a serious shakeup in Left/Right politics as some liberals, like Rowling and Bari Weiss, have moved to the Right--especially in their criticism of the transgender narrative that places ideology over reality.

Scotland's new hate crime law is intended to suppress the counter movement, to create a climate of fear where people take a serious risk by speaking up and telling the truth.

The West's cultural elites can't have people willing to say that the emperor has no clothes or that a man can't become a woman with impunity. That threatens the regime, the interlocking lies that the elites tell themselves and use to secure their positions within its institutional tendrils.

So, what the cultural elites are doing is what plenty of other authoritarian and totalitarian societies have done in the past. They are making the cost of telling the truth high enough that a general mass of people will be afraid to declare it publicly or even privately.

They are dressing up these dictatorial designs in the language of preventing "hate" and by making the penalties seem low enough that they don't immediately illicit images of other notorious, oppressive states of the past.

"Hey, don't worry, we won't prosecute you for misgendering someone, yet. Unless the police and the courts say so, of course, but that's not my department."

That's effectively what Scottish politicians and other proponents of transgender hate crime laws are saying.

Don't buy it.

Anti-speech laws to intimidate dissenters aren't the final solution to the problem; they instead are intended to establish a government-mandated norm of what is considered acceptable speech. These laws are a firm but insistent swat directed at anyone who might be thinking of telling the truth rather than spouting the party-approved narrative.

More repressive laws come later if the people don't comply.

Sure, most cases of alleged hate speech under this law won't lead to arrests or significant fines. At least for now. But how many people are going to be willing to speak the truth when there's a chance they could get arrested, face a lawsuit, or even end up in jail?

Most people aren't Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The creators of these laws know that and are counting on the probability that most aren't even a Rowling, or a Riley Gaines, or a Ray Shelton either.

That's why these "small" threats to liberty must be met and defeated now. Now is the time to refuse to live by lies while the stakes still aren't quite gulags.

We must, like Thomas Jefferson, swear hostility to every tyranny over the mind of man.

In the United States we are fortunate to have the First Amendment, and that may at least slow down this rush to control speech and thought. But that won't keep back the tide of suffocating, increasingly government-mandated groupthink forever. Little islands of liberty aren't good enough.

Although the gender transition ideology seems strongest in the United States, my feeling is that if it can be beaten, it will be beaten here.

Refuse to live by lies while the law is still on our side, and create laws to protect the truth rather than suppress the truth to create victims. That's the way we will preserve liberty and thwart the coming of a new Dark Age.

Originally published at The Daily Signal

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