A View On Gay Marriage — It’s A “F— Up:” Tebbit

FORMER THATCHER government minister and chairman of the Conservative Party in the UK, Norman Tebbit, has sparked controversy with a provocative and expletive-laden outburst against Prime Minister David Cameron and his pursuit of legislating same-sex marriage, and his remarks warrant attention.

Attention, yes, and discussion, yes, although I do point out that whilst this column does not support the legalisation of same-sex marriage, as readers already know, there are surely better ways to argue the case than this.

Tonight’s post is an observational one,  and more to generate discussion than anything as well as keeping an eye on what’s going on elsewhere in the world that is relevant to debates and discussions taking place here in Australia.

This is especially relevant today, given former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that he has changed his mind on the issue, and now supports the measure.

There are three stories in today’s British press that I refer readers to here, here and here.

To give Australian readers a little context, this is a much “hotter” issue in Britain than it is here; the ruling Conservative Party is losing a lot of popular support at present to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), predominantly over the issue of Britain’s continued membership of the EU, but same-sex marriage is fuelling the drift as well.

There is ample anecdotal evidence that traditional Tory voters want a referendum offering the option of leaving the EU altogether (the so-called “in-out referendum” you may have heard of) and for marriage in Britain to continue to be defined as being between one woman and one man, as is the case here in Australia.

David Cameron, who — in a ceaseless campaign to “modernise” the Conservative Party that seems to be transforming it into a bastard amalgam of economic conservatism and social postmodernism — is doing all he can to avoid the referendum, but to legalise gay marriage.

So there is real…er, spice…surrounding this issue in Britain, and much of it has nothing to do with gay rights, same-sex marriage and so forth.

Enter Tebbit.

He says — among other things — that Cameron and the Tory Party leadership have “fucked up” by alienating the grassroots vote over such issues.

There are two ways to look at what he has had to say; once you’ve read his remarks in full from the clippings I have pasted here, I will be interested to see which way you view them.

It is important to note that despite appearances to the contrary, Tebbit in the past has been known to opine that whilst he disagrees with the practice of homosexuality, he is a defender of the right of the individual to practice it.

But even so, “I rather fancy my brother, perhaps I’ll marry my son” would seem to be a somewhat extreme means of expressing opposition to same-sex marriage.

So, too, is his scenario of a lesbian queen inseminated using semen from an anonymous donor.

Are these scenarios realistic?

Tebbit does touch on a couple of issues that haven’t been given consideration, such as inheritance tax, but really — and remember, I don’t support the measure either — isn’t this going a bit too far?

I’m in two minds as to how to judge Tebbit, given I was a big fan of his when he was a minister in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, and given he is — normally — a voice of hard cold reason, dour as it sometimes is.

On one hand, is he guilty of an indiscretion here on the scale Cory Bernardini was roundly (and rightly) savaged for, by supporters and opponents alike of same-sex marriage, some time ago?

Or on the other, is Tebbit right to rip into the ridiculous, focus group generated slogans “marriage equality” and “equal love” with venom to prosecute his case and, if so, are his illustrations justified?

I’d be interested to hear what people think.

There is a parallel debate in Britain at present, which is gathering pace; whether David Cameron should be replaced as Conservative Party leader (and Prime Minister) before the next scheduled British general election in 2015.

The hubbub over gay marriage is the latest in a litany of issues that have sparked both controversy over Cameron’s leadership and an exodus of Tory voters in the direction of UKIP.

I was one of David Cameron’s staunchest Antipodean supporters for a long time, both before and after he became Prime Minister; I came to the conclusion some time ago that I was in error, and that he must be replaced if Labour is to be prevented from an unjustified and unmerited return to office in two years’ time.

What effect will Lord Tebbit’s outburst have on that?

I look forward to hearing readers’ thoughts — both for and agin.

By the way, I wish to note to readers that I will be resuming “normal” columns in the next day or two; I’ve been distracted for a few days by other issues, but will have a little more time to post very shortly, starting with the post-budget polling.

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6 thoughts on “A View On Gay Marriage — It’s A “F— Up:” Tebbit

  1. I have absolutely no problem with same sex relationships. It would be a dull old world if people were all the same, and sexual orientation is just one of those differences.
    However, we seem to be hurtling down a slope on which all of the institutions of our forefathers are being thrown to the dogs. Those institutions got us this far from living in tribes and barely surviving. I have commented before that this trend is not by accident, but rather is part of a grand plan. One of the major foundations of our heritage is the family. It is the family, with a male father and a female mother that provides the role models to which children cling. It is not by accident that society’s attitude to wards divorce has placed the father of the family in a rather tenuous position.
    I simply don’t understand why anyone would want to be married in the hodge podge into which society has morphed. Furthermore, I consider the “progressive” aspect of socialism is entirely Fabian. Once it becomes commonplace for males to marry males, and females to marry females, then there will be pressure to allow cousins to marry, for men to have more than one wife, for wives to have more than one husband, and on and on until there is no semblance remaining of the family. The intent of progressive socialism is to have children institutionalised by the State to the extent that there will no longer be anyone with the capacity to think for themselves. The slope of which I mentioned is the slope toward Huxley’s “Brave New World”; a totalitarian socialist dictatorship in which the common man is enslaved.

    • Well…the conservative in me says marriage is between a man and a woman; the liberal in me says gay people should be free to do whatever they like in their relationships. My objection, oddly enough, is that marriage is a) a religious, biblical institution, not a societal, legal one, and is inherently heterosexual — and should remain so.

      That said, I think there are plenty of smart gay people around who can come up with an institution of their own, and should be encouraged to.

      It’s interesting that a lot of objections throw up the possibility of multiple spouses, incest and so forth. I actually don’t think it would happen, although to way to make sure of it is to enshrine the definition of a same-sex union as being between two individuals only, with the same legal exclusions that currently apply to close relatives marrying.

      I think if there was some campaign at an undefined future point to allow polygamy, or marriage of siblings (to use examples), the current climate of wide support — how wide being an immeasurable in the absence of a vote on it — would not exist, and I think in those circumstances there would be overwhelming hostility toward the proponents of such a measure, and toward the measure itself.

      And rightly so.

      • I am in total agreement with those first two paragraphs.
        In fact I am in a heterosexual relationship of the sort you describe. My wife and I are in a union registered with the State of Tasmania as a “significant relationship”. This is duly registered within the same department that registers birth,s deaths, and marriages. So in fact one can say that we are married in the eyes of the State, but not in the eyes of God. In fact, in a strictly biblical sense, the Church would not consider us eligible for marriage, since we are both divorced. It is indeed ironic that this facility was put in place in Tasmania for the convenience of the gay and lesbian community.
        As for your scepticism of my concerns, I need only point to the current attitude towards abortion to which only a couple of generations ago would be appalling. The foot in the door was the “therapeutic” abortion, in which case the medicine man involved would decide that both mother and child were at risk, and the child’s life must be sacrificed in order to save the mother. A scant fifty years later, and we have the conviction on eleven counts of murder one Kermit Gosnell. For those who have not followed this disgusting trial, Gosnell is a “late term abortionist” who specialised in the slaughter of children after they were born. And his defense at the trial that may well send him to the gallows? (Sentencing will be in June). What is the the difference! What is the difference in murder outside the womb as compared to inside the womb. That was his unsuccessful defense.
        Indeed! What is the difference? In this country and around the world thousands of innocent children are slaughtered on a weekly basis. Rather than being “therapeutic”, women are using this as a birth control method.
        The other day I heard Tanya Plibersek justify placing the abortion pill on the PBS as being “cost effective”.
        I wrote to Ms. Plibersek and I said, “When I slaughter chooks, I have several means at my disposal. I can break their neck, decapitate, or bleed them to death. I consider all of them unpleasant, but have never considered “cost effective”. Slaughtering poultry is unpleasant but necessary. The slaughter of lambs and porkers is even more unpleasant. It is all I can do to muster the will to slaughter a cattle beast. It must be a callous Tanya indeed to consider “cost effectiveness” in the slaughter of innocent children. How does that make you feel?”
        We are on a slippery slope in connection with all of our time honoured institutions. Marriage, abortion, euthanasia. The slope in all cases leads to the same Hell.

      • “My objection, oddly enough, is that marriage is a) a religious, biblical institution, not a societal, legal one…”

        Except that is not true. Religious marriage is a religious institution, and with respect to the Christian religion it is discussed in the Bible. It isn’t created by it, and the biblical institution included polygamy, making it a silly basis on which to justify excluding gays when modern Western marriage does not extend to three people.

        More to the point, civil marriage has f***-all to do with religion: it is a contract between two people and the state wherein the individuals agree to take care of each other, and the state provides certain benefits in return. Two atheists can go to a registry office and walk out married in the eyes of the state without any religion having a say in the matter. Adherents to some religion or other can do the same despite the fact that their church(es) wouldn’t allow them to marry. So if religions have no say as to whether governments celebrate marriages between heterosexuals that those religions would not touch with a ten-foot pole, why should they have a say when it comes to homosexuals? It is not as though anyone is suggesting that religious groups should have to perform same-sex marriages—this solely about civil marriage.

        Also, why should religions that do want to marry gay members of their congregations on the same terms as straight members not have just as much say over civil marriage as you would allow to sects that oppose same-sex marriage?

  2. Karabar and Yale, I agree with you both.
    Many of my most treasured friends have been Gay men. They are wonderful, colourful people to have around.
    However, changing The Marriage Act??…No. Can’t abide it.
    Certainly, our society should create a legally binding ( let’s face it and be blunt, financially binding) ceremony all of their own.
    Don’t mess with something that is set up for the sanctity of “Family” meaning a Man and a Woman becoming one to have children and provide a safe and hopefully secure emotional place for them to be bought up.
    AND, before anyone jumps in, yes, I know….Divorce.
    Well nothing is perfect…and it does involve human nature after all.
    Adding another complication is not going to make it any better.
    Some form of nice and special Civil Ceremony for the Gay and Lesbians to make their relationship legal in the eyes of the Law (and Divorce Courts) would be the way to go.
    It has to be different, because they are different.
    Not bad, not wrong, not awful….just different.

  3. Homosexuality is an abomination. I know first hand, I was a lesbian for 10 years May Allah forgive me. It is part of the Jihad against our own evil inclinations. These are all of The Shaytans doing, and its easier to succumb to the evil path as its easy, but better to submit to the straight path even though it is difficult. To legalise this perversion, is to open the door to new perversion. To say its ok to be gay because that is the persons condition opens the door to say its ok to be a rapist because that is the persons condition… The Hour Is coming, The Signs are becoming clear.

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