British lawmaker blocks ‘upskirting’ bill

British lawmaker blocks 'upskirting' bill
UPI

June 16 (UPI) — A British lawmaker has blocked a bill that would make it a criminal offense to take a picture up a woman’s skirt without her consent.

Sir Christopher Chope, 71, a conservative lawmaker, objected to the bill to make the non-consensual practice called upskirting illegal Friday as it was being read in the House of Commons, TIME reported.

The upskirting bill would make the offense punishable by two years in prison if it becomes law.

In Scotland, upskirting is already illegal.

Chope did not give a reason for objecting.

The bill is expected to be up for debate again on July 6.

British Prime Minister Theresa May supported the bill and was “disappointed” in Sir Chope’s actions blocking the upskirting bill as the only lawmaker objecting to it advancing.

“Upskirting is an invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed,” May tweeted Friday. “I am disappointed the Bill didn’t make progress in the Commons today, and I want to see these measures pass through Parliament – with government support – soon.”

London resident Gina Martin sparked a campaign against upskirting after being victimized by the practice last year at a London concert when a man beside her suddenly placed his phone up her legs.

Martin said she was outraged by Sir Chope blocking the bill’s progress in a statement on social media.

“I am obviously extremely upset and disappointed that Sir Chope decided to object on this vitally important bill for the women of England and Wales,” Martin said. “I remain positive, though. We knew this was a risk–but I now stand with powerful, passionate, women and men behind me.”

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