Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Lord Tebbit: If gays can marry people of the opposite sex, there is no marriage inequality

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. A vile, old dinosaur who’s opinion means nothing in a modern society. As for his point about the ‘appropriateness’ of bringing up a family in a civil-partnered/married same relationship, I don’t really get the point. Does he think they’d be better off if there was no marriage/CP or does he also advocate banning gay couples from having children?

    Either way, who cares what Tebbitt thinks?

  2. Asinine statement, fallacious, ignorant and increasingly desperate by the decrepit and irrelevant.

  3. What a prick!

  4. Lord Tebbit: If gays can marry people of the opposite sex, there is no marriage inequality

    BORING!

    1. eh?
      what you mean ‘boring’…?
      What is going on with people’s brains on here?!!?

    2. What I mean by boring is that it is a boring and stupid comment, he’s trying to be clever with words but failing, men and women are supposed to be equal in UK but presently a man is permitted to marry a woman while a woman is not permitted to marry a woman, this is an obvious inequality that only marriage equality will address.
      The present marriage laws discriminate against gay couples because gay couples presently are not permitted to marry whereas straight couples can marry, it is discrimination based upon sexual orientation and prevents gay people from leading fulfilling lives for no rational reason.

    3. Jock S. Trap 26 Jun 2012, 11:36am

      It is Very boring. Such views are so old and pretty sure most of us have heard this old chestnut!

      1. David Myers 27 Jun 2012, 9:12am

        Yes, I believe it was Michelle Backmann who most recently chirped out this inane platitude (to the right-wing fundamentalist fascists) of the American right, as though she had thought it up on her own!

  5. I love the bizarre inconsistency of those against gay marriage on the one hand warning it will lead to incest, and on the other calling for siblings to be able to enter into Civil Partnerships.

    Obviously, it’s not Lord Tebbit saying both. But the suggestion that sisters should be able to have Civil Partnerships clearly demonstrates that he doesn’t believe that they’re an equivalent of marriage.

  6. So the sexes of the people in a marriage are more important than them being in love? Bit warped.

    Even if he’s right and that means there isnt any marriage inequality. gay marriage will still extend equality because itll let straight people get the right to marry someone of the same sex if they want.

  7. What planet is this guy on? I thought that dinosaurs were extinct.

  8. If this man was so interested in preserving family life, he wouldn’t have told out of work men from the north to get on their bikes in the 80s, leaving their wives to cope at home on their own! He is an ignorant arrogant bigot and if we ignore him he’ll just go away!

  9. Because gay men can marry women there’s no inequality? Has this decrepit creature actually gone through a looking-glass or something?

    1. In a word: Bonkers!

      1. Sorry, Rehan. Not you! :o) Posted in the wrong place.

  10. James Else 25 Jun 2012, 5:42pm

    What this shows is that in order to be a member of the House of Lords (how antiquated is THAT as a system of power and control) it is almost a requirement to be senile.

  11. In a word: Bonkers!!

  12. Aww… it’s nice of him to come out as saying civil partnerships aren’t equivalent to marriage. I’ll be sure to mention his name to a few anti-equality Bishops. :) Thanks Lord Tebbit, you’re really helping!

  13. He’d place a five pound bet?

    Giving away his age there if he thinks five pounds is still worth something :P

    That’s like saying “I’d bet a fiver, but only a fiver because I don’t actually have much faith in what I’m saying.”

  14. “When I get extremely irritated about it, I say: There is no inequality. Any male can marry, barring the restrictions on consanguinity, any female. Any female can marry any male. I’m terribly sorry sir, you want to do something that I don’t wish to do. That’s your problem, not my problem.”
    That would be the “Dog in a manger” response then.
    Perhaps he’d like to encourage us to all to go through the motions of sham marriage with a straight person, then it becomes everyone’s problem. Just ask Ted Haggard.
    Funny how these bigots don’t even see they shoot themselves in the foot with that lame argument.

  15. auntie babs 25 Jun 2012, 5:54pm

    insane notion…so I am free to marry somebody I don’t love and have no feelings for provided they are of the opposite sex….Oh I see so what the other wackos are saying about the sole purpose of marrying is to procreate is a load of nonsense then? As long as the sexes are opposite who cares about happiness?

    1. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that marriage is only about love.

      Since time immemorial people have gotten married for several reasons – love is not the only reason.

      Marriage is a civil contract that is denied to same sex couples because they are gay.

      That is bigotry.

      1. Tim Chapman 25 Jun 2012, 9:08pm

        At last, someone’s said it. The Equal Love campaign is all very well, but true equality will be the right for same sex couples to marry without reference to love (or anything else).

        I know a heterosexual couple who got married for a reason that had nothing to do with love. We should have the right to do likewise. The only reason we need is ‘because we want to’. After all, when I became a civil partner, no-one at the registry office asked me for the reason I wanted a civil partnership, so I shouldn’t have to pretend that I love my partner in order to campaign for the right to marry him.

        1. Well, technically true, but given that by far the most actual harm caused by the current inequality in the law is psychological harm caused to people who do want to marry the person they love but can’t, it’s only right that this takes centre stage.

          Otherwise we risk seeming pedantic rather than righteous, and downplaying the deep emotional hurt that inequality causes.

        2. I hear what you are saying, Tim, and I agree.

          However, when people ask me why I want to marry my boyfriend – my answer is that I love him and want to celebrate my love for him.

          So, discussing marriage being about love is relevant to me (and I perceive many others).

          1. Fair enough – but someone who gets married simply for a residency permit has as legally valid a marriage as you will have.

            Marriage is a contract.

          2. Fair point.

            Marriage can be about love though – and as far as me and my better half are concerned – ours will be!

          3. Inriguing – someone seems to think my loving my boyfriend and wanting to marry him is a bad thing give the thumbs down – speaks more about them than my relationship!

  16. Kate Hoey MP is an odd one. Far more ethical than your average Labour MP (opposed tuition fees, foundation hospitals, the Iraq war and replacing Trident) and yet things like gay marriage and immigration tend to bring out her reactionary streak.

    I get the impression of an underhand Red Tory from her (the kind that Frank Field pretends to be) or at least somebody from what was once traditionally the right-wing of the Labour Party (e.g. Wilson and Callaghan).

  17. Carl Rowlands 25 Jun 2012, 5:58pm

    This man has always been a nasty bastard. Period

  18. I think Tebbit makes the point well in calling for siblings to be able to enter into a Civil Partnership. In this he indicates the inequality between marriage and Civil Partnership. It is bizarre that he feels Civil Partnership should be availble to same sex siblings – the hypothetical two women he mentions in his example who have looked after parents – but doesn’t mention what to do about mixed sex siblings in the same situation. I very much doubt that he is suggesting that mixed sex siblings should be allowed to marry. I assume he would extend civil partnership to mixed sex couples. And there you have it. Confirmation that marriage is sacred and exclusive, whilst civil partnerships are not. Marriage represents a recognition of kinship and commitment of a loving relationship, civil partnership is a convenient mechanism for securing your economic interests. And that, in a nutshell, is why we need marriage equality.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jun 2012, 6:37pm

      Very good point. If he thinks same-sex siblings should be allowed to form a CP, then he must also agree that opposite sex siblings should be able to do the same. I would love to hear his response to that. I can just imagine what he’d say. He’s actually admitting that CPs aren’t equal to marriage by supporting same-sex sibling to have one. I don’t think the people of C4M/CI would be very happy about that.

  19. I worry where he says it isn’t his problem, surely as a member of the House of Lords it is his problem? Although it would probably be better if he abstained from voting on this issue

  20. Guglielmo Marinaro 25 Jun 2012, 6:15pm

    In a one-party state there is no discrimination against political dissidents, since they have the same freedom as anyone else to support the ruling party.

    1. David Myers 27 Jun 2012, 9:16am

      Well stated. That is the equivilant idiocy pointe out clearly. Thank you.

  21. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jun 2012, 6:28pm

    Is he out of his mind or what? Would a straight person marry a gay person? I think not. Would he?

    This vile piece of pond life needs to do us all a favour and die. Typical bloody Tory windbag. He’s a disgrace to the human race.

  22. As for Tebbit. Ugh, what can I say? Asking Tebbitt for his views on gay marriage is like asking Pamela Geller for her views on halal meat. You already know where they stand with regard to the groups in question.

  23. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jun 2012, 6:33pm

    This moron has in fact proved that CPs are not equal to marriage by saying that gay people should marry a straight person, thereby eliminating marriage inequality.

  24. when they make the argument,then, it becomes clear that they do not understand what it means to be gay, nor do they understand what marriage is really about.

  25. Hurry up and die, you’re a total waste of space, money and oxygen.

  26. His opinion is nearest to the last anyone should take note of.

  27. Cardinal Capone 25 Jun 2012, 7:05pm

    I suppose he would argue in the days when interracial marriage was banned in America, that there was no discrimination as everyone was free to marry someone of the same race.

    Although even that was a step forward, as for a while in the South, blacks were not allowed to marry at all.

    1. Sam Maloney 25 Jun 2012, 11:14pm

      Very well said!!! I think all of us need to have short, concise answers to use when debating Equal Marriage. I will use your analogy to interracial marriage the next time someone tries ‘Tebbit’s Gambit’ on me…

  28. spotted this old fossil at an airport once, when he was still in cabinet. his `assistant’ was a very attentive, feminine,attractive young man who i doubt for a second was hired for his efficiency in bag carrying. (not that i’m suggesting anything innapropriate for a moment)

  29. Evil old fascist

  30. Why is it so difficult for these people to understand the difference between “equal rights” and “special rights”? It’s not that mind-blowing a concept.

    Heterosexuals currently have special rights, in the sense that they can marry someone they love. Not restricting that to heterosexuals would equalise those rights.

  31. Before bans on interracial marriage were overturned by the US courts, it was argued that even though black people couldn’t marry white people, there was no discrimination because white people couldn’t marry black people. They said everyone had equal rights.

    1. David Myers 27 Jun 2012, 9:20am

      Same old sh*t!

  32. If Jewish people hadn’t been Jewish there would never have been the holocaust

    1. This is really wrong…Please remove, Pink News…

      1. He is trying to say that gay people could in effect stop being gay which is as daft as saying that Jewish people could in effect have avoided persecution by being non Jewish.

        Does every reference to race have to attract a knee jerk reaction?

        1. Spanner1960 26 Jun 2012, 12:13pm

          You find most anti-racists are actually nothing to do with the people actually being apparently maligned.

  33. Dennis Velco 25 Jun 2012, 7:29pm

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. I just booked marked you as a new source as I curate global LGBT news & resources and group moderator.  What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups/LGBT-Gay-GLBT-Professional-Network-63687/about

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 14,000 of your soon to be great friends on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.

    It is strictly professional office friendly dialog, posting and profiles / profile images. I’ve been told by many that it may well be one of the best run / managed groups on LinkedIn. It even has several LinkedIn top executives as members.

    You can be as out or private as you like and I provide instructions on how to set those preferences.

  34. I agree with much of what American Conservative politician (supporting equality) David Brooks said (although perhaps not the vehemence of it all!):

    “Today marriage is in crisis. Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Worse, in some circles, marriage is not even expected. Men and women shack up for a while, produce children and then float off to shack up with someone else. Marriage is in crisis because marriage, which relies on a culture of fidelity, is now asked to survive in a culture of contingency. “The conservative course is not to banish gay people from making such commitments. It is to expect that they make such commitments. We shouldn’t just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity.”

    Fidelity in a marriage involving a gay man is only reasonably expected when their partner is another man. A gay man’s sexual urges

    1. will be towards another man – not a woman. Equally its only reasonable to expect a heterosexual woman to achieve fidelity in a relationship with a man, as her sexual urges will not be towards women. Bisexual fidelity will undoubtedly depend on who the individual falls in love with.

      I do of course accept fidelity is not a choice that everyone chooses to make.

      I read a story in an Australian newspaper when flying back home a couple of weeks ago. I think it epitomises how society is moving towards an inevitable acceptance of equal marriage. It becomes increasingly inevitable as the polls based on age demonstrate that a huge majority of young adults support equality in marriage:

      “”I was raised in a devoted Christian home in rural NSW. Coming out at 16 in 1996 was the greatest risk I have ever taken and I would be lying if I said this news was well received. I met my partner over eight years ago. In that time my heterosexual brother and two heterosexual sisters have all met,

    2. married and divorced (or separated) from their legally married spouses.

      “Two years ago, as the last of my sisters filed for divorce from her husband, my dad said to me that he never thought my relationship would be the one of all his children’s relationships that would stand the test of time. He thanked me for proving him wrong and changing his opinion on not only the gay community but also on marriage (equality).

      “My father has since acknowledged that he regrets not attending my commitment ceremony in 2006, adding that ‘I pray I will be given the opportunity to right my wrong and see my eldest son legally marry the man he loves’.”

      That young man and his father’s rapprochement is emblematic of society’s growing understanding and compassion.

      It is time for all of us to soften our hearts and accept that the expression of love and commitment through marriage should be available to all couples, irrespective of sexuality.”

      I yearn for this to happen in the UK, Australia and elsewhere.

  35. PinkPolitico 25 Jun 2012, 7:42pm

    The quissential bigot rears his ugly head. His ramblings are best ignored at this stage.
    As for Kate Hoey, I do find her reactionary views on a number of issues quite troubling, especially for someone who claims to be on the centre-left/progressive side of British politics. She is far from progressive or left-wing as I understand those terms.

    1. bobbleobble 25 Jun 2012, 7:53pm

      I don’t actually understand why Kate Hoey was invoked in the first place. She’s not some great moral arbiter, she’s just one vote in the House of Commons. Of course some Labour MPs are going to vote against, 5 of them have already indicated that.

      I must be missing something.

  36. I like Lord Tebbit’s comment. I’m.terribly sorry.sir, you want to do something I don’t wish to do’. Is another man trying to force Lord Tebbit to marry him? Does he know we aren’t saying he has to marry a man?

    1. bobbleobble 25 Jun 2012, 8:07pm

      He’s got the wrong end of the stick too. In a free society if we want to do something but the government doesn’t then it’s up to the government to explain why we shouldn’t do that thing. Simply saying ‘you can’t do it because I don’t want to do it’ isn’t really a good enough reason.

  37. He was a mad old coot 25 years ago.

    Now he’s a mad ancient coot.

    Is anyone actually listening to him?

    1. I agree, he does appear to be rambling incoherent . . .

      As if any one is interested in his perverse and warped mutterings

  38. Tim Chapman 25 Jun 2012, 8:52pm

    If he thinks that sisters should be able to form a civil partnership, shouldn’t he also be advocating that brothers and sisters should be able to get married? His twisted contention only goes half way.

    1. Maybe he only wants same sex siblings to marry or have CPs … odd – but that is Lord Tebbitt for you!

  39. What I find particularly ironic is that whenever someone says that gay people do have marriage equality due to being able to marry people of the opposite sex, it belittles the whole idea of marriage. If your argument is that gay people have equal rights because they are able to marry someone they are unable to have any romantic feelings for then you are completely disregarding and ignoring the point of marriage.

  40. That There Other David 25 Jun 2012, 9:41pm

    Funny how his opinions were last relevant back in the 80s, seeing as he was last relevant….oh never mind. I honestly can’t be bothered. Silly old fool.

  41. What planet is he on.

    Sounds like he is encouraging incest by saying 2 sisters who care for a parent should have civil partnerships.

    Mind boggles at the thoughts of some people.

  42. Tebbit might as well say that a law banning the prescription, sale and taking of insulin is in no way discriminatory against diabetics.

    Yes, diabetics can’t get their insulin anymore, and will suffer greatly because of it, but hey, nobody else can get any insulin either so it’s obviously fine!

  43. Although, actually, I can’t see the problem with extending civil partnerships to a much wider circle of people either. Provided we have full equal marriage of course. They were always an anaemically bureaucratic second-best option, so why not make them useful again when full equality is achieved?

    1. Although, to be honest, the best solution would be to remove all of the legal and financial advantages to marriage in the first place. The current situation amounts to nothing less than discrimination against single people, who generally have things somewhat worse than the coupled at any rate.

      1. Spanner1960 26 Jun 2012, 12:10pm

        Have you never heard the expression “Blood is thicker than water”?
        The whole point of marriage is to legally bind people. I want my money to go to my husband, not the bloody taxman.

  44. I don’t expect anything less from him, but the bit that worries me is what he says about Kate Hoey. I’ve written to her to asking for her to clarify her position on this.

  45. Do not attributed to villainy that simply result from stupidity. – R A Heinlein

  46. There are many dead people walking around, breathing, and causing trouble for others. He, and the rest of them, just needs to lie down and stop breathing, so we can bury them.

  47. floridahank 25 Jun 2012, 10:45pm

    What is the proper age for someone to get married? If a girl is 14yrs. and living in an unhappy family situation and wants to marry a 20 yr old man, should she be forbidden to do so?
    What and how are the limits set for someone to get married? Are those absolute or relative?

    1. Ages of consent (be that marital or sexual) are set for a reason to protect children.

      Systems which recognise that different children mature at different speeds are not possible to draft into law, hence absolute values.

      If you want to debate ages of consent – then please feel free to do so elsewhere, it has nothing to do with consensual marriage of same sex partners (able to consent in law).

  48. There are a lot of really ugly ageist comments in response to this story – Tebbit is wrong, ill-informed and a deeply unpleasant bigot but not because he is old in years – people of 20, 30 or 40 may well share his views, people 10 years older may strongly support equal marriage. Don’t fight prejudice with prejudice – ageism is just as wrong and offensive as homophobia.

    1. But it is also true that the older the person the more likely they are to be a horrifific neo-fascist bigot like Mr Tebbit.

      You can’t have missed the repeated surveys which show that the older the population segment, the more likely it is to be homophobic.

      It is not ageist to state that Norman Tebbit is a disgusting, ancient, bigoted waste of oxygen.

      It is a statement of fact.

      1. Its certainly true, that historically no matter what form of equality measures that have been introduced, support for them during campaigns to ensure equality have been greatest amongst young people – and oppositon usually greatest amongst older people. Its certainly true, internationally, regarding the issue of equality in marriage.

        1. David Myers 27 Jun 2012, 9:28am

          Wow. I almost always agree with Stu. Nearly never agree with dAVID and here we are all three agreeing! But remember age is not the cause of this blatant ignorance, it is just a correlation.

  49. …the bloody idiot…
    (he always was a bloody idiot – and clearly time has not sharpened his empathy buttons has it…)

  50. What a horrible thing to say – you really haven’t got the hang of opposing people without saying something really nasty have you…

    1. Build a bridge and get over it.

      Playing nice with neo-fascists is idiotic and simply does not work,

      These gross bigots need to realise that when they spout their vicious bigotry then they are going to suffer for it.

      Norman Tebbit has nothing of value to offer the world and the sooner he shuffles off this mortal coil the better.

  51. Oh deary, deary me Lord Tebbit, whata mistaka to maka, However no-one takes much notice of you anymore hence …..’the former minister said no one had approached him saying marriage for gay couples or House of Lords reform was a priority’ and do you know why……….? Well now you wabble on home and do some serious thinking about your decrepit and obsolete life.

  52. Perhaps it’s been mentioned in the comments already, but not allowing gay marriage is indirect discrimination. All people may appear to be treated equally (that is, everyone can marry a member of the opposite sex), but there is a greater disadvantage to gay and lesbian people.

    I don’t know if anyone cares, but the classic indirect discrimination case involved a school saying no one can wear any hats or anything on their head (Mandla v Dowell-Lee). It was found to be indirect discrimination because though everyone has the same rules applied to them, students of religions that require turbans and the like will not be able to meet the requirement.

    I just think Tebbit is forgetting this. Sure, technically everyone does have the same marriage rights, but gay people can’t marry people of the opposite sex (obviously they literally can, but I think you all know what I mean).

    A bit of a long comment. Sorry about that.

  53. de Villiers 26 Jun 2012, 7:26am

    It is discriminatory because although the
    law has a neutral application – it applies equally to everyone – it has a disproportionate effect on gay people.

  54. This is Kate Hoey’s big chance to win 5 pounds!

  55. The man really has lost it! He should be put out to pasture!

    Why is it in any other job in this country men and women are forced to retire at the legal retirement age and yet out of touch old duffers like this can sit in the Lords and have a say in changes that will impact our lives?

  56. If straights can’t marry people of the same sex, then there is marriage inequality.

    I’m sure straight people are just as eager to marry a same sex partner as gay people are to marry an opposite sex partner, we must ensure full equality for these people.

  57. My gut instinct on seeing the photo of Tebbit and reading his latest nonsense is to ask why someone hasn’t stood on this old lizard’s neck long enough for him to croak his last.

  58. Bless him. A bitter man ever since his wife was confined to a wheelchair following the brighton IRA bomb. His bitterness spews into his politics.

    1. I understand his bitterness at having himself and his wife been victims of terrorism.

      I do feel he cascades his bitterness into his rhetoric and prejudice.

      The targets he chooses are not responsible for the atrocity that he experienced.

      The fact he attacks people who have no connection to his unfortunate experiences demonstrates that Tebbits vindictiveness is nothing more than arrogant, out of touch and illogical bullying.

  59. Thus speaks a man who hailed General Pinochet as the saviour of Chilean democracy.
    An indication of how seriously his views can be taken.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jun 2012, 12:58pm

      Not to mention Margaret Thatcher who gave him ‘sanctuary’ for a while.

  60. Spanner1960 26 Jun 2012, 11:09am

    Oh, that old chestnut: “There’s nothing to stop gays getting married already.”

    That is why it is really important not to call this whole thing “gay marriage” – they will twist our words.

    Always refer to it as SAME-SEX CIVIL MARRIAGE – then everybody knows what we are talking about.

  61. Homosexuals are attracted to members of their own sex. Telling that they can get married as long as they marry the opposite sex is as meaningless as telling a herbivorous animal that it can eat as long as it eats meat.

  62. Jock S. Trap 26 Jun 2012, 11:34am

    This idiot just doesn’t get it does he, not only does he not understand why marriage equality needs to be but he clearly doesn’t understand what love means. If he did he wouldn’t downgrade it for our community.

    A shameful bigot whose had his time, now needs to retire out of public life!

  63. NutjobsareeverywheretheUNtoo 26 Jun 2012, 12:07pm

    What fine example from a lord of this land, gained his lordship for throwing 3 million out of work with his sidekick the milk snatcher. I thought he was dead !

  64. another sick demented pervert. with all the logic of a tossed salad.

  65. Get on your bike Norman and go back to the 50s where you believe there was no homosexuality, no domestic violence, no violent gangs and no poverty. You’re as deluded about that as you are about this.

  66. A stupid senile old man – decades past his ‘use-by date’ !! IGNORE HIM !!!

  67. The man is an idiot.. he never loved anyone, and the last time had sex was about 65 Million years ago… hang on there old chap.. lets just catch this tyranosaurus… good grief.!!

  68. Situation Norm then.

  69. Situation NORMal then.

  70. Situation Norm.

  71. Situation Norm, all fuddied up.

  72. Situation Norm, eh?

  73. In this interview he has shown exactly why Lords reform should be a priority.

  74. OMG look at the state of him.

  75. Well, in the case of Lord Tebbitt, ‘it does what it says on the can.’

    I’m amazed that a man of his wealth is only willing to wage a ‘fiver’ about Kate Hoey’s voting intentions.

    Society moves on, liberty evolves. There will always be those of yesterday’s generation a bit behind the times**. If I were stuck in a lift with him, I’d just talk about the weather to be honest.

    But it does rather emphasise a more important issue: we need an elected Upper House. That would decide whether his views are worth reporting or not.

    **For optimism, read Steven Pinker’s ‘better angels of our nature’.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all