CNA Staff, Oct 29, 2020 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- Amid a contentious debate in Scotland over a proposed hate crimes law, which the Catholic bishops of the country oppose, a cabinet minister this week suggested that the law could apply to speech uttered within a private dwelling if the speaker intends to stir up hatred.

The Scottish government introduced the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill April 23 in response to an independent review of hate crime laws led by Alastair Campbell, Lord Bracadale, a retired judge. The government argues the bill modernizes, consolidates, and extends existing hate crime legislation. It also abolishes the offence of blasphemy.

The proposed legislation creates a new crime of stirring up hatred against any of the protected groups covered by the bill, which include race, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.

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