This context points to the special difficulties in determining the political need for such a piece of legislation. But rather than adding to the discussion of these issues I want to confine myself to some comments on the content. Here it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the section 1 offence (offensive behaviour) is just extremely poorly drafted. The offence is defined as engaging in behaviour likely to incite public disorder - which would be virtually indistinguishable from the existing common law crime of breach of the peace, given that 'incite' must be understood in this context as meaning 'cause'. 'Behaviour' is then defined in s.1(2) as variously expressing hatred of, or stirring up hatred against, an individual or group on the basis of religion, colour, race, nationality, ethnic origins, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability, or behaviour motivated by such hatred, or behaviour that is threatening or offensive. A person found guilty of this on indictment would be potentially liable for a sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment.
Even if we leave aside the last two categories here (threatening and offensive behaviour), which seem to have been added only out of a failure of the drafter's nerve and have no clear connection with problem the legislation is aimed at, there are some significant difficulties here. First is why the offence should have been defined in terms of the incitement of public disorder. The problem here is presumably that such conduct in the context in which it occurs (at or near football grounds, or in public places where matches are being shown) is already inflammatory - that is, to shout sectarian slogans at a football match would already be 'inciting' public disorder - which is why there is the concern in the first place. There seems to be no need for this first limb of the offence, unless inciting was specifically understood as urging others to commit a crime. However, since the definition is fulfilled by the behaviour itself there is no need for this.
But what about the definition of 'behaviour'. This is defined in terms of hatred of groups or individuals defined in terms of religion etc. The problem here is that while every kind of conceivable group identity is listed (in spite of the fact that most of these, including religious hatred, are already defined as aggravations in law), the key term 'hatred' is undefined. This may not be thought to be a problem, as there are already other existing aggravations in law defined in terms of 'hatred', but it is surely a greater problem in this context where the nature of the problem (sectarianism) is itself so contested. The traditional songs and chants may be offensive, but do they express hatred? Or is the hatred expressed in the song or does it depend on the motivation of the person singing it - in which case even more ostensibly 'neutral' songs might become more problematic.
I don't mean to suggest for a moment here that there is not a serious problem or even that it does not require some sort of special response. I do, however, seriously doubt whether this particular Bill, which is poorly drafted and adds little to the already existing offences in Scots law, is the appropriate solution.