MSPs reject third bid to decriminalise incest in Scotland
Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee took just over a minute to unanimously reject a petition brought by Richard Morris.
It is the third time Mr Morris has petitioned the parliament on the same issue, with previous appeals thrown out in January and September 2016.
He is the only person to have signed the latest petition, which calls on MSPs “to urge the Scottish Government to decriminalise incest between persons of legal age of consent, and grant people in adult consensual incestuous relationships the same right to marry as all other consenting adults”.
Dismissing the petition, the committee noted that a Scottish Law Commission report on the issue in 2007 concluded that the majority view was for retaining the offence and the current definition.
“I don’t see any merit in it whatsoever,” SNP MSP Rona Mackay said.
The committee was obliged to consider the petition once more as it complies with the Scottish Parliament’s standing orders.
There are no restrictions on who can submit a petition to Holyrood and only one signature is required, although there is a time bar of 12 months before a rejected petition can be brought forward again within the same parliamentary session.