It has been revealed that deliberately calling someone by the ‘wrong’ gender pronouns could become a hate crime punishable by up to two years in prison under a Labour government,
According to a report by the The Mail on Sunday, Labour has vowed to toughen up the sentencing guidelines for abuse and violence targeted at trans people.
The party led by Kier Starmer would make attacks motivated by hatred of the victim’s gender identity into ‘aggravated offences’.
Such a move would bring transphobic abuse into line with assault and harassment motivated by hatred on the grounds of race or religion, which are both punishable by up to two years in jail.
The Mail Online reports: Critics warn that the policy could therefore mean jail sentences for someone refusing to use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns, or referring to them by their former name or their birth sex rather than their chosen gender.
Last night, a senior Tory source said: ‘Some police forces have shown themselves overzealous in the pursuit of supposed hate crimes and this reform would send them a signal to go even further.
‘We’ve seen people arrested for misgendering but this isn’t enough for Labour – they want them locked up for two years.’Caroline Ffiske from Conservatives for Women said: ‘Thousands of women dispute the notion of ‘gender identity’ and particularly the idea that it should be prioritised over biological sex.
‘We have serious and legitimate concerns over being expected, in the workplace, when using public services or in private life, to refer to a man as ‘she/her’.
‘Is there a risk with this policy that a woman could be accused of harassment for correctly sexing a man and then for that to be treated as an aggravated offence?’
Last year a Christian preacher was convicted of harassing a transgender woman by calling her a ‘man’ and a ‘gentleman’. David McConnell was given a 12-month community order for leaving Farrah Munir ’emotionally distraught’ after an argument between the two while he was preaching on a street in Leeds.
His conviction was quashed after magistrates ruled there was no evidence he intended to harass her.