Humanists welcome Hate Crime Bill amendments

Humanist Society Scotland has welcomed amendments to the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill agreed by MSPs this morning.

The amendments agreed today remove the specific sections in the draft bill that targeted theatres and owning ‘inflammatory material’. In addition the changes also see a requirement to ‘prove intent’ of a hate crime in court. Both these changes were called for by Humanist campaigners last year.

In August 2020 Humanist Society Scotland co-ordinated a joint letter of artists, writers and human rights advocates – including Val MacDermid, Elaine C Smith and Rowan Atkinson – which criticised the draft restrictions for their impact on free expression in the arts and wider society.

A photo of Fraser Sutherland from 2019

Fraser Sutherland

Welcoming the amendments, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland, Fraser Sutherland said:

“These changes made to the Hate Crime Bill today will help ensure that artistic freedom is protected and theatre censorship ruled out. More amendments are still to be decided next week which include protecting the right to criticise, satirise and cause offense against religion which we strongly recommend are passed to protect freedom of expression.”


Take action now

Sign our petition

Sign our petition to end unelected religious representatives on education committees.

Sign today.

Learn more

Read Our Blog

Humanitie Blog

Humanitie is the platform for thought, comment and analysis for HSS.

Bringing you thought-provoking articles on Humanist issues.

Learn more

New Pod- cast

Available now!

Have you heard we’ve started podcasting?!

You can listen to the first episode, plus two special editions now.

Learn more