The Harry Potter author said she would rather do time for misgendering than submit to ‘compelled speech’. She spoke out after The Mail on Sunday revealed that Labour plans to introduce stricter sentences for abuse targeted at transgender people.
Deliberately misgendering someone is already a hate crime if it is motivated by hostility to the victim’s transgender identity, the Government said last year, but Labour’s policy would mean tougher penalties for perpetrators.
If it becomes an ‘aggravated offence’ such as race hate attacks, harassment based on someone’s gender identity could result in a prison sentence of up to two years.
But because of the police’s heavy-handed intervention in previous online spats, critics fear the move could see gender-critical campaigners prosecuted for refusing to use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns and referring to them by their birth sex.