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Rowling shuns award over criticism of views on trans rights

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JK Rowling: The author has sent back the US group’s accolade. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

JK Rowling: The author has sent back the US group’s accolade. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

JK Rowling: The author has sent back the US group’s accolade. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

'Harry Potter' author JK Rowling is returning an award from a group linked to the Kennedy family in the US, saying its president "incorrectly implied" that she is "transphobic".

The multi-millionaire writer (55) has been at the centre of a row over trans rights.

The president of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, a group which previously presented Ms Rowling with an award, was among those who criticised the best-selling writer's views.

Announcing her decision to hand back the award, Ms Rowling wrote online that Kerry Kennedy, the organisation's president and the daughter of the late senator Robert Kennedy, "felt it necessary to publish a statement denouncing my views" on the group's website.

"The statement incorrectly implied I was transphobic, and I am responsible for harm to trans people," the author said.

"As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people's right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community."

She said in a post on her website: "In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award bestowed upon me last year.

"I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience."

Ms Rowling has said she was motivated to speak out about the issue due to her experience of abuse.

Actors from the Harry Potter films, including Daniel Radcliffe, have criticised the author.

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