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Ethics – Scotland rejects incest

March 2016

Christian Concern has spoken out against a petition submitted to the Scottish Parliament calling for the legalisation of incest between adults.

The petition was raised by a man called Richard Morris, who, it is believed, resides in Australia, and submitted the petition on behalf of a Scottish man convicted of committing incest with his daughter.

The petitions committee was legally required to hear Mr Morris’s request, since his petition pertained to a devolved issue. Incest in Scotland is covered under Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act of 1995.

According to reports, Mr Morris claimed the current law on incest was ‘discriminatory’ and related people’s attitudes toward incest to ‘bigoted views on homosexuality’. He also blamed the church and Christian influence for creating ‘bigotry and prejudice’ about adult consensual incest.

Members of the Scottish Parliament rejected the petition. Scottish committee convener Michael McMahon said it was not in the public interest to pursue a change in the law.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said the challenge of incest will continue, unless our culture regains a biblical understanding of love, marriage and sexual ethics.

She said: ‘We must be alert to the way incest seems to be creeping into our culture. Parent-child as well as sibling relationships have been designed by God to provide a safe, nurturing environment to foster child development and human flourishing. To sexualise these relationships defies not only our natural instincts, but also God’s design for human sexuality’.

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