Woman is charged with malicious communication over 'transphobic' tweet

An accountant has been charged with a malicious communication, with the addition of a hate crime aggravator, after allegedly posting “homophobic and transphobic” messages on social media.

Marion Millar, from Airdrie, has now been scheduled to appear in Glasgow Sheriff Court next month.

It has not been made public what Ms Millar’s tweet or tweets were, but the mum-of-two, has been described by friends as “upset” that Police Scotland has pressed charges.

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The 50-year-old feminist campaigner had previously revealed on Twitter that she had been told to report to a police station over two complaints she had posted "homophobic and transphobic" tweets.

The "controversial" sticker that was found in Kirkcaldy.The "controversial" sticker that was found in Kirkcaldy.
The "controversial" sticker that was found in Kirkcaldy.

The charge comes just a week after Kirkcaldy police warned people about “controversial stickers” on lampposts in the town, which it said had been reported as a hate crime. The stickers were later found to say “Women Won’t Wheesht” and were in support of women’s group ForWomen Scotland.

Ms Millar is the accountant to the organisation which was established to campaign for women’s rights which they believe could be eroded by reform of the Gender Recognition Act and the Hate Crime Bill.

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Marion Calder of ForWomen Scotland read out a statement outside Coatbridge police station, saying: “Marion is naturally upset that the police have decided to press ahead with charges.

"The past few weeks have been a nightmare for Marion and her family and it seems there is no end in sight. Sadly, in Scotland, it seems both free speech and women’s rights are under attack.

“Marion is very grateful for the support and would like to thank those who have stood by her.

“Too many people mistake credible, open threats of violence (to which women are well used) with hurt feelings. As Salman Rushdie said: “Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read.” Police and Politicians seem to have lost sight of this.”

Ms Millar gave an account of her wait to speak to police on Twitter writing: "On April 28 I received a call from a PC Laura Daley from Police Scotland requesting I attend an interview under the malicious communications act.

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"She told me I had to attend East Kilbride police station so I could be then transported to Cathcart station in a police car because I would have to go to a station where there are holding cells."

Ms Millar was told that social workers would be sent to look after her young twin boys, who are autistic, while she was questioned.

"This nonsense has been hanging over my head for a month," she said. "I still don't know what the offending tweet is.

"Anyone who knows me knows I am not homophobic or transphobic."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "A 50-year-old woman was arrested and charged in connection with online communications offences. She has been released on an undertaking to appear at court at a later date. A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service."

Ms Millar has not been charged under the new Hate Crime Bill as it has not yet passed into law, although former justice secretary, Humza Yousaf, said safeguards in the Bill would mean individuals who "solely stated their belief" would not breach the criminal threshold, even if it was "offensive to some.”

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