DOUGIE Morgan and his husband were victims of two homophobic attacks in 2016.

“My husband Graham was there the first time – I was away on a mental health first aid course in England,” he told The National.

“A group came to our home in a village near Stirling and smashed the windows, shoved obscene letters through the letterbox and messages on the walls.”

He said it was reported to the police but they “never came out”.

The second time was just a week later. Morgan (below) was at home this time and went out to confront them but soon realised he was outnumbered.

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“I went back to the house and set off the house alarm, phoned the police as they tried to break the door down,” Morgan said.

“The police did react within an hour and they managed to catch up with the group.”

“The four main instigators were charged for a hate crime, and I went to juvenile court in Dundee and [they] got a slap across the wrist.”

He added: “But we didn't feel safe, so we moved.”

Morgan’s comments comes as a call for the Scottish Government’s new hate crime laws to be repealed failed at Holyrood.

The Scottish Tories put forward a motion yesterday calling for the Hate Crime and Public Order Scotland Act – which was already voted through Parliament in 2021 but only came into force on April 1 – to be repealed.

But the motion ultimately failed.

It comes in the wake of controversy about the legislation, which consolidates existing laws and extends protections against stirring up hatred – which were already in place in terms of racial hatred – to other groups, such as the elderly and disabled.

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Opponents of the new laws, who include Harry Potter author JK Rowling, fear its impact on freedom of speech, with the Scottish Government also having come under attack for not including women in the new protected groups.

Morgan said he supports the Hate Crime Act as a victim of hate crime.

“I do support the act, I really do because there’s too much abuse and inappropriate language thrown about that people like have got to listen to on a daily basis,” he said.

“But I just feel like it's opened a can of worms, especially in the transgender community.”

Morgan – who is an LGBT+ veterans community worker – said that while he believes JK Rowling is entitled to her opinions, she “hasn’t got it right”.

“I do support transgender veterans, and this act has caused so much angst and mental health issues,” he said.

Morgan also argued that the act hasn’t been introduced well enough.

“The Scottish government has just not got it quite right,” he said.

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Shahida Zafar (above) was walking home from school in Glasgow as a young teenager when a group of boys swarmed her.

“They all just kind of came together, and they rallied around. They were bullying and started to physically punch,” she said.

“They were smiling away and threatening, almost as though they could do whatever they wanted.”

Zafar added: “It wasn’t that physical, I wasn't hurt or anything. But my clothes got muddy and dirty.”

The now 68 year old – who works as a video moderator for TikTok – said that she was also often picked on at school, including being called racial slurs, but said it was “never straightforward” what can be labelled a hate crime and what is just racism.

Zafar welcomed but was also sceptical of the legislation and said that implementation was what was important.

“You can't just say it'll sort itself out. People sometimes will commit these acts until they are sat down and spoken to, told that this is the consequences.”

She added that while the legislation has to be there, it needs to be complemented with other actions including in schools to tackle the issue earlier on.

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Dr. Narayan Shrestha (above) was also often called racial slurs – particularly when at school and university in Dundee.

While Shrestha said he hasn't himself experienced a hate crime, he has witnessed it including a student of his who was beaten up due to his race. 

A member of Age Scotland’s Ethnic Minority Older People Forum – which challenges inequality and discrimination faced by ethnic minority older people – he told The National that ultimately he backs the act but also has his reservations.

“My issue is that despite everything that is in the act, when you look at the actual implementation – this is still lacking,” he said.

“People are still facing this discrimination, this racism is still happening. So I think it needs to be considered more seriously how it can be implemented and effectively exercised.”