The London Metropolitan Police have issued their guidelines for what constitutes a “hate crime,” and the parameters they delineate are wide enough to cause real concern. The guidelines state, “A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference. It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime.”
The guidelines get even dicier here:
If someone commits a criminal offence and the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we class this as a “hate crime.” It means the offender can be charged for the crime itself and also their reasons for doing it. If someone does something that isn’t a criminal offence but the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we would class this as a ‘hate incident’. Though what the perpetrator has done may not be against the law, their reasons for doing it are. This means it may be possible to charge them with an offence.
Thus it is not difficult to imagine that if a person acknowledged another person using a pronoun denoting their biological sex, while the other person claimed their “gender identity” was different from their biological sex and took umbrage at the pronoun, the first person could be charged with an offense.
Additionally, what do the guidelines mean by “any other perceived difference”? If someone kids someone else about being taller, or shorter, or having different colored hair, does that qualify?
In an age where the snowflake mentality is pervasive, does it help when the force of the law is brought to bear in such a heavy-handed way?
Doubtless the British think so.