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vagina protest
via The Local

Women face hate crime charges for plastic vagina protest

A feminist protest in Spain that saw a giant vagina carried on a plinth like ‘the Virgin Mary’ has brought about allegations of ‘crimes against religious sentiment’

Three women in Seville who carried a giant vagina replica in a feminist protest are facing claims that they’ve committed a ‘religious hate crime’.

The protest actually dates back to May 2014, when women from the Sisterhood of the blessed rebellious vagina to the exploitation of precariousness (Hermandad del Sagrado Coño Insumiso a la Explotación a la Precariedad) marched through the Spanish city in hoods, carrying a huge plastic vagina on a plinth. Court documents allege it was “in the style of the Virgin Mary”.

As Spanish publication The Local reports, the women were participating in the Spanish Union’s General Workers’ Confederation march on National Workers Day, and had used the vagina replica to highlight gendered discrimination in workplaces, as well as reproductive rights.

This case had previously been heard and dismissed, but the Association of Christian Lawyers has since entered an appeal. The previous judge’s ruling detailed that “not believing in the dogmas of a religion and manifesting it publicly falls under the freedom of expression”.

However, a new statement from the AEAC said it was “vexatious”, and the group claims chants such as “the Virgin Mary can abort too” as well as religious prayers with “sexual, rude and abusive” additions were used at the march. Now, the previous ruling in the women's favour has been thrown out as the ‘new evidence’ claims to highlight deliberate insult to “religious sentiments of Catholics” with “a mockery of the Easter procession”.

It’s been reported that the three women facing these allegations of ‘crimes against religious sentiment’ have denied any intention to offend. According to their lawyer, as the Telegraph says, intent to offend needs to be proved by law.

Should the women be found guilty, they could potentially be imprisoned for up to 18 months (thought many first time offenders given under two-year terms have them suspended) and face a fine.