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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Scottish Minister to meet bishop as bigotry row escalates

Pressure is mounting on the Scottish Government over its plans for anti-sectarian laws after an unprecedented attack on Alex Salmond by the Catholic Church as he prepares to meet with Bishop Philip Tartaglia.

Leading Catholics have warned that new laws to deal with sectarianism could result in the Scottish Government losing the confidence of the Catholic Church. Bishop Tartaglia said the introduction of the Bill — designed to tackle sectarian behaviour — had been “hasty” while “a consensus was developing” that the proposed legislation is “problematic”.

This latest attempt to crack down on sectarian football fans also faces criticisms in a Holyrood committee report due out tomorrow that highlights confusion over what amounts to “offensive” behaviour and warns the Bill could clash with human rights laws and infringe freedom of speech.

Coincidentally the NSS is working south of the Border with the Christian Institute to delete “insulting” from s.5 of the Public Order Act.

Published Fri, 07 Oct 2011