The Scottish feminist campaigner being defended by an SNP MP after being charged with a hate crime has had her first court hearing postponed.

Marion Millar, who is being represented by Joanna Cherry QC, had been due in Glasgow Sheriff Court tomorrow for a preliminary bail hearing.

However her solicitors said they had been notified by prosecutors that this had been put off until August 17.

Ms Millar’s supporters said they still intended to hold a socially-distanced protest at noon on Tuesday at Glasgow Green, the historic site of suffragette rallies in the city 

Ms Millar, 50, a supporter of sex-based rights for women who opposes easing transgender self-identification, has been accused of posting allegedly homophobic and transphobic material on social media in 2019 and 2020.

READ MORE: Feminist campaigner charged with 'hate crime'

Her critics claim she is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or Terf.

If convicted, the 50-year-old accountant from Airdie could face two years in jail.

She was charged in June over social media posts that reportedly included a tweet showing a ribbon in the purple, white and green of the suffragette movement.

After an interview at Coatbridge police station on June 3, Ms Millar, who has autistic twin boys, she was bailed to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on July 20.

She said afterwards: "I have been charged, I am absolutely gutted, I can't describe in words the stress this is causing me."

She has not been charged under the recent Hate Crime Act passed by MSPs, but under the 2003 Communications Act with a “hate crime aggravator”. 

She was charged under Section 127, which criminalises “grossly offensive” messages.

On June 28, Ms Cherry, who is sympathetic to some of Ms Millar’s views on gender recognition, announced she had been engaged to conduct the defence.

The Edinburgh South West MP said she was “returning to practice at the bar on a limited basis” for the first time since she was elected in 2015, after being granted special permission by the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.

READ MORE: SNP MP Joanna Cherry to defend Scottish feminist Marion Millar charged with 'hate crime'

But in a statement on social media at the weekend, Ms Millar’s lawyers, Glasgow-based Beltrami & Co, announced the bail hearing had been delayed. 

They said: “We have been notified by the Procurator Fiscal that the bail undertaking for our client Marion Millar, which was due to take place on 20th July 2021, has been rescheduled to 17th August 2021.

"No further comment will be made at this time.”

If the Crown Office does ultimately prosecute Ms Millar, the case is set to be a “cause célèbre” after attracting international attention on free speech grounds.

The respected American legal analyst and attorney Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Chair of Public interest Law at George Washington University, has called the case part of a “free speech fight brewing in Scotland”.

He said: “The effort by some to criminally charge advocates [of free speech] like Millar is to silence rather than to respond to opposing viewpoints. 

“Such speech limitations tend to grow with time.

"Once groups taste the ability to silence others, it becomes an insatiable appetite for censorship and criminalization of speech.”

READ MORE: University student cleared after being investigated for saying women have vaginas

Gender-critical feminists such as Ms Millar disagree with those LGBT activists who think gender identity should be prioritised over biological sex in government policy and the law.

The former fear the advance of transgender rights is at the expense of hard-won women’s rights, while the latter see the focus on biological sex as transphobic. 

The STUC has blamed years of “dithering and delay” by the Scottish Government over gender recognition reforms for helping to create a “toxic environment” over the issue.

SNP ministers are committed to simplifying the process by which a trans person can legally obtain gender recognition, but have yet to legislate on a matter they know divides their party.

Alex Salmond’s Alba has tried to exploit the SNP split by saying it is a better champion of women's rights. 

After she was charged, Ms Millar revealed she gave the Alba party her regional list vote at May’s Holyrood election because of their stance on the issue.

READ MORE: Marion Millar, Scottish feminist charged with 'hate crime', backs Alba party

In an online discussion about suffragettes, Ms Millar said: “I was too intending to spoil my vote because not one party was willing to stand up for my rights, then @AlbaCentralScot came along and they got my vote because they stand up for my rights as a woman.”

Asked about her constituency vote, she replied: “I didn’t vote for the @theSNP that’s for sure."

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has been asked for the reason behind the bail hearing delay.