The former Conservative Party chairman Norman (Lord) Tebbit has told a PinkNews reader that the ban on same-sex marriage is not discriminatory, but the current system of not allowing heterosexual couples to enter into a civil partnership is.

Lord Tebbit was responding to a letter sent by Brighton based Alex Scarrott, who linked a civil partnership to something that a “Dalek and a Cyberman would do; two emotionless monsters uniting in the name of something far from love.”

The Conservative Peer ignored the Doctor Who reference and told Mr Scarrott: “There is no discrimination whatsoever in the present law, except that against heterosexual population relating to civil partnerships.”

He added: “All unmarried males are free to marry any unmarried  woman.  All unmarried women are free to marry any unmarried man. No men are free to marry other men.  No women are free to marry other women. This arrangement has worked well enough for the past several thousand years.”

Last year Lord Tebbit said: “It is extremely inequitable that two sisters who have devoted their lives to looking after a parent should be prohibited from entering into a partnership which would be to their economic advantage, whereas two women otherwise can do so.”

Here are the letters between Lord Tebbit and Mr Scarrott in full:-

Dear Lord Tebbit,

I urge you to support the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill when it comes to the House of Lords.

Same-sex couples who love each other should not be denied the right to marry. This denial is deeply offensive.

If you support love and marriage, I hope that you’ll welcome the fact that LGBT couples love each other and want to get married.

Civil partnerships were an important advance but they are not equality.

Separate laws are not equal laws. More importantly, a civil partnership feels devoid of emotion and romance; it recognises the financial right but is bereft of the other. A wedding should recognise and celebrate the phenomenon that two soul mates have finally found each other. This should be an equal celebration. To me, a civil partnership feels like something a Dalek and a Cyberman would do; two emotionless monsters uniting in the name of something far from love. But straight couples should be allowed to recognise their union in this way. Humans are passionate and they crave recognition and respect. Same-sex couples deserve the right to celebrate their love and be recognised for it as heterosexual couples do. Two adults of the same sex should have the license to award their love the same romantic honours that accompany opposite sex couples.

Equal marriage, in this country, is long overdue. Where other countries have moved forward courageously, we have tiptoed behind them, in fear of upsetting the church. People will look back at this in years to come, when same-sex couples have been awarded the same rights, and they will see how this was a great injustice.

I am sure you would not accept a situation where the law banned black or Jewish couples from getting married but offered them a civil partnership instead. This humiliation is what the current legislation does to same-sex couples. It fobs them off with second best: civil partnerships.

I ask you to consider how you would feel if you were banned by law from marrying the person you love. I’m certain you’d feel upset and offended.

In democratic society, everyone should be equal before the law. There should be no discrimination based on person’s sexuality.

I ask you to support full equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law. Please support the legalisation of:

* Same-sex civil marriages
* Opposite-sex civil partnerships
* Religious same-sex marriages by clergy who wish to conduct them.

The twin legal bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships are unjust discrimination.

I urge that you support the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, and the civil partnership extension amendment, to ensure that both civil marriages and civil partnerships are open to everyone – gay and heterosexual couples – with no discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
On a final note, I never thought I would stand this close to full equality. I feel we have come so far and on the day when marriage is fully equalised I will draw a breath and feel the full respect that this country has for me.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Scarrott

Dear Mr Scarrott
Thank you for your email letter of 22 April on the subject of ‘same sex marriage’
There is no discrimination whatsoever in the present law, except that against heterosexual population relating to civil partnerships.

All unmarried males are free to marry any unmarried woman. All unmarried women are free to marry any unmarried man.

No men are free to marry other men. No women are free to marry other women.

This arrangement has worked well enough for the past several thousand years.

The only discriminatory aspect of the law at present is that civil partnerships are open only to persons of the same sex.

In short there is no discrimination, other than that, between you and me. It is just that you wish to do something that I do not wish to do.

Lord Tebbit

Dear Lord Tebbit

Thank you for your letter of 30th of April on the subject of ‘same sex marriage.’

I would like to disagree with you on there being no discrimination in the present law. The law does not encompass same-sex couples and so is discriminatory against same-sex couples.Did you know that long before white man invaded America, the Native Americans respected homosexuals without prejudice, calling them the Two Spirit People due to their traits of both masculinity and femininity, and would conduct a same-sex marital union of two people of the same sex without a second thought.

If you are trying to say that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman and that this would redefine marriage then you would be speaking too late. Marriage has already be redefined through the protestant reformation of the church. We can no longer accept a marital union as one between a man and a woman. For us to be completely equal in nature, we need to accept that the rules of marriage be kept open to everyone who respects a healthy union of love.

As for this arrangement working very well for the past two thousand years, I would have to disagree. For years, people in same-sex relationships have hidden their love away. They have been forced to hide. This was the love that dares not speak its name. During Nazi persecution, homosexuals in illegal relationships were forced into concentration camps and brutally tortured and murdered for their displays of love. I would say that this ‘arrangement’ is similar to a nightclub with a members only policy.

We are all made of the same stuff and just because people in same-sex relationships do not have the gift of procreation (and it is a gift – one that is taken for granted!) they are considered inadequate and unworthy of marriage. Love is consistent and love cannot be measured, it can only be felt. Just because I was born one way and you were born another does not mean that you are more deserving of marriage than me.

I don’t know you well, Lord Tebbit, but I hope you to be a good man. If you could only try and empathise with same-sex couples then you would see how important it is for them to be granted equality in the eyes of the law.

I ask you to support full equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law. Please support the legalisation of:

* Same-sex civil marriages
* Opposite-sex civil partnerships
* Religious same-sex marriages by clergy who wish to conduct them.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Alex Scarrott