Woman charged with ‘malicious communications’ for anti-trans tweets

Marion Millar, from Airdrie, Scotland, has been charged with malicious communication and a hate crime after allegedly posting “homophobic and transphobic” social media posts.

“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,” said Marion Calder of the group ForWomen, of which Millar is a founding member.

“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,” Calder added.

Millar is an accountant, businesswoman, and “terf” or “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” according to her detractors who say her group, ForWomen is transphobic. She says police have not told her which of her tweets were considered “malicious” but was told that the offense occurred between 2019 and 2020. Millar detailed her exchanges with police in Scotland in the lead-up to her arrest.

“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,…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,” Millar wrote on Twitter.

She says police told her that social workers would be arriving at her home to take possession of her two young boys, who are autistic. “This nonsense has been hanging over my head for a month,” she added. “I still don’t know what the offending tweet is,…Anyone who knows me knows I am not homophobic or transphobic.” If found guilty, Millar could face up to two years in prison.

“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,” said a spokesperson for Police Scotland.

Millar has been an outspoken critic of recent anti-free speech bills in Scotland, such as the Hate Crime Bill and the Gender Recognition Act, both of which opponents say are crackdowns on political speech. Former Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, said safeguards in the Hate Crime Bill would mean individuals who “solely stated their belief” would not constitute criminal behavior, even if it was “offensive to some.”

Under the Hate Crime Bill, certain offenses are deemed “aggravated” if they involve prejudice on the basis of age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, or variations in sex characteristics. The “aggravated” charges mean harsher sentencing for those found guilty. The bill also creates a new offense of “stirring up hatred” against any of those groups, which used to only apply towards race.

Milar’s Twitter account has since been set to private. The Independent Chronicle reached out to Millar for comment but did not immediately receive a response.