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Britain's upper house passes bill to make misogyny a hate crime

Britain's upper house passes bill to make misogyny a hate crime
The bill would require police to note whether hatred of a person's sex or gender motivated a particular crime, and allow judges to impose stronger penalties if such prejudice is a proven motive. File Photo by Skye McKee/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Britain's House of Lords passed a measure on Monday night making misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales, and sent the proposal on to the House of Commons.

The upper house voted 242 to 185 to amend the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make misogyny a hate crime.

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The move was mostly backed by Labor and Liberal Democrats in Britain, but conservative Baroness Newlove, a former victims' commissioner, led the move to make misogyny a hate crime despite opposition from her party colleagues.

"Too often when it comes to violence against women, society demands the perfect victim before we act," Newlove said, according to The Guardian.

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"As a society, we have rightly taken steps to acknowledge the severity of racist and homophobic crimes, but have not yet acted on crimes driven by hatred of women."

The bill needs approval from both houses to become law, and it will return to the House of Commons once the upper house is finished working on it.

The change would require police to note whether hatred of a person's sex or gender motivated a particular crime, and allow judges to impose stronger penalties if such prejudice is a proven motive.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party leader since 2019, has opposed calls to make misogyny a hate crime.

Monday's vote also rejected other measures in the bill -- including a proposal to punish activists who lock themselves onto objects with as many as 51 weeks in prison, suspicionless stops and searches and introduction of "serious disruption prevention orders." The upper house also voted to block a proposal giving new powers to police to stop protests in England and Wales.

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