Pubs set for bigotry laws

PUBS will be covered by new legislation to crack down on sectarianism

The Scottish Government last week published the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill, which outlines plans to tackle sectarian behaviour in football stadiums, pubs and online.
The legislation seeks to create two new offences relating to offensive behaviour that can incite “religious, racial or other forms of hatred”.
If approved, the legislation will apply to any place, other than domestic premises, where a match is being televised. Convictions could mean up to five years in prison and the possibility of a football banning order.
The Bill is being fast-tracked through the parliamentary process to ensure powers are in place for the start of the new football season.
Community safety and legal affairs minister Roseanna Cunningham said the new laws will send out a clear message that there is “no place for bigots in modern-day Scotland”.
“From the start of the new season, anyone who peddles sectarian hatred – in any football stadium in Scotland, on the way to or from a game, or hiding behind a computer screen – could now face up to five years in jail,” she said.