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May 24 2013

British Conservative Makes Terrible Anti-Equality Argument

The English House of Commons passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, with the Tories backing the idea, and the bill is now moving to the House of Lords, where one prominent conservative leader is making a terrible and, frankly, vile argument against marriage equality.

Prime Minister David Cameron said equal marriage would help build a stronger and fairer society – earning the backing of the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband – but former Tory attack-dog Lord Tebbit has questioned the can of worms that could pop open if the legislation is passed in a hurry.

“The government discussed it for twenty minutes on the morning of its announcement,” former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit told The Big Issue. “They’d done no work on it beforehand. I said to a minister I know: have you thought this through? Because you’re doing the law of succession, too.

“When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?’

Seriously? That’s his argument? How about you just get rid of this idiotic royal family and then you won’t have to worry about it? How about you do away with the ridiculous idea that only someone of “royal blood” should hold a position of power and influence of any kind?

“It’s like one of my colleagues said: we’ve got to make these same sex marriages available to all.

“It would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter?”

Thank you for proving that no one should do anything but point and laugh at you when you open your mouth to speak.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    Tabby Lavalamp

    Because what’s to keep him from marrying his daughter? There are plenty of stupid anti-equality arguments, but that is one of the stupidest, on par with “what’s to keep two friends from marrying for the benefits?” because there are apparently no opposite-sex friends.

  2. 2
    John Pieret

    Ummm … Why can’t you marry your daughter now or a mother marry her her son?

    Jebus, these people tie themselves in such knots to try to justify their bigotry.

  3. 3
    voidhawk

    I thought this would be about Sir Gerald Howarth’s comments

    “I fear the playing field is not being levelled I believe the pendulum is swinging so far the other way, and there are plenty in the aggressive homosexual community who see this as but a stepping stone to something even further,”

    Presumably that’s a stepping stone to the full equality the old Tory dinosaurs don’t want to see?

  4. 4
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Does anyone wonder why it is that these people’s minds always seem to turn to “Why, I’d be able to marry my daughter,” or “By George, I should be able to marry my horse, were that the case!”?

    I mean, seriously, who spends their time pondering about the possibility of marrying their children or their animals? I have a suggestion, but I seriously doubt they’d like it aired…

  5. 5
    gingerbaker

    Why does he presume that the queen would be a woman?

  6. 6
    Christoph Burschka

    “When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?’

    I don’t think much of royalty, but that… that’d be pretty cool actually.

  7. 7
    tbp1

    I am somehow reminded of an argument someone in my high school government class made against the idea of a woman president: that she would be too busy with presidential duties to cook and do housework. As far as I could tell, the guy was serious.

  8. 8
    Christoph Burschka

    It would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter?

    … as opposed to now, where he’s only allowed to marry his daughter, and a mother may only marry her son.

  9. 9
    Bronze Dog

    It’s really disturbing how people like this jump to genetic thinking. Anti-marriage people complain about same sex marriage because they can’t produce a child solely with their genetic material. Their rhetoric implicitly (when not explicitly) condemns infertile or intentionally childless couples as sham marriages and treats adoptive children as inferior. Anti-abortionists implicitly define personhood as a matter of having human DNA instead of a matter of consciousness. And, of course, there are the racists who complain about immigrants polluting the gene pool.

    Does he condemn sperm donation in general? An infertile prince marries a non-royal woman. They want children, so she gets artificially inseminated with donated non-royal sperm. Is the child considered royalty?

  10. 10
    richardelguru

    “When we have a queen who is a lesbian”
    What does he mean ‘when’?
    (That explains a lot about Brenda)

  11. 11
    doublereed

    Appeal to Monarchy.

    Americans have lots of problems, but at the very least we haven’t had that go around for more than 200 years.

  12. 12
    dingojack

    Yep – it’s this Norman Tebbit. Now don’t you wish the IRA had got a little more explosives?
    Dingo

  13. 13
    mikeedwards

    Oh noes! They could end up having a child with someone who isn’t a cousin! The royal family could do with some fresh DNA. If they lived anywhere else they’d be spittin’ baccy though their teeth while picking a banjo with their prehensile toes.

  14. 14
    pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    Step 1: in absence of rational counter-argument, make ridiculous, unsubstantiated or irrelevant claims.
    Step 2: sit back while your argument is rightly thrashed by any intelligent persons
    Step 3: repeat the same claims (maybe slightly revised) over and over and over and over

    Taken straight from the “Christian Guide to Debating with Athiests” strategy.

  15. 15
    voidhawk

    #dingojack

    Not cool. Tebbit’s an arse but that’s no ground for calling for murder by terrorism. Especially when the modern day IRA are still making threats of that nature.

  16. 16
    cjcolucci

    So if a gay king married another gentleman and they adopted, would that child be heir to the throne? If they didn’t have any child at all, well, that’s a situation the British are used to and they have managed to work around it. Maybe there’s even an answer already to the question of whether an adopted royal child (even one in a different-sex marriage) succeeds to the throne.

  17. 17
    dingojack

    As I understand it the answer is no. ‘Heirs of one’s body’ means just that. but their are plenty of other contenders out there. There’s even some Australian bloke who’s a descendant of George, Duke of Clarence (Richard III’s older brother).
    Dingo
    PS voidhawk – be assured, your concern will get all the consideration it deserves.

  18. 18
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Why does he presume that the queen would be a woman?

    Oh boy, when Britain gets a[n openly] gay king some day, the “queen” jokes will never end.

  19. 19
    Matrim

    It’s a stupid scenario anyway. As the head of the Church of England, the sovereign couldn’t marry someone of the same sex anyway, if they did they would be forced to resign as the head of the Church, and the only way to do that is to abdicate the throne. It’s no different than when King Edward VIII abdicated when he wanted to marry a divorced woman.

    Of course the whole thing is idiotic to begin with, concerns of succession in these times?

  20. 20
    Nick Gotts

    The English House of Commons

    No such place. The UK house of Commons includes MPs from Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland as well as England, although the bill will only apply in England and Wales (Scotland is also in the process of legislating for marriage equality – a draft bill is out for consultation, but there’s very little doubt a bill will go through; northern Ireland is still too bigot-ridden).

    passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, with the Tories backing the idea

    The leadership did, but most (133 of 161) of the votes against were Tories. About the same number of Tories voted in favour (I can’t find an exact figure), while the remaining parties, apart from the Democratic Unionists (northern Ireland Protestants) were overwhelmingly in favour.

  21. 21
    mudpuddles

    How about you just get rid of this idiotic royal family and then you won’t have to worry about it?

    Ah now come on Ed, seriously? You can do a lot better there than attacking the royals. There is plenty about them to complain about, but its hardly a rebuttal to Tebbit to say “your bigotry is silly because the royals are silly”.

    How about you do away with the ridiculous idea that only someone of “royal blood” should hold a position of power and influence of any kind?

    Well, to be fair that’s a bit of a straw man, since that hasn’t been the case in Britain for well over 300 years.

    A better response to Tebbit’s question of whether that child can be heir to the throne is “Yes… and who gives a crap?” Succession to the throne follows common law and statutory instruments, which can be amended (and have been) if necessary to reflect changes with society. For example, it was illegal (partly on religious grounds) for a monarch to be wedded to a divorcee in the 1930s (and hence King Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson) but not anymore (Prince Charles, next in line to the throne, is married to a divorcee). If society deems that same sex marriage and gay adoption are to be within the law, there is no reason why that could not be reflected in the statutes governing royal succession. In fact technically any adopted child can already succeed to the throne under current statutes, which refer to “children” of the existing monarch, not specifically “children born to the monarch”.

  22. 22
    mudpuddles

    Matrim (#19) raises a good point on the monarch’s position as Head of the Church of England – that would have to change, or the Church’s position on gay marriage would have to change, in order for same sex royal weddings to be OK. BUT – the Church of England is currently fine with civil partnerships for same sex couples, and with same sex couples having all the rights of heterosex married couples. Their main quibble with gay marriage is the silly issue of definitions and “protecting the institution of marriage”. So, as I see it if Prince Charles was in a civil union with another man, he could still take the throne and be head of the CoE, legislation permitting.

  23. 23
    matty1

    Oh boy, when Britain gets a[n openly] gay king some day, the “queen” jokes will never end.

    It’s been done “Elizabeth was King, now James is Queen”

  24. 24
    Synfandel

    @13 mikeedwards wrote:

    The royal family could do with some fresh DNA.

    Whatever else the Duchess of Cambridge brings to the royal family, she clearly brings a desperately needed dose of good-looking to the royal gene pool.

  25. 25
    Modusoperandi

    Doesn’t “the Lesbian Queen” sound like a cruise ship?

  26. 26
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Doesn’t “the Lesbian Queen” sound like a cruise ship?

    Or a lost (and really awesome) Marlowe play.

  27. 27
    naturalcynic

    Whatever else the Duchess of Cambridge brings to the royal family, she clearly brings a desperately needed dose of good-looking to the royal gene pool.

    That’s two generations of hotties married to the heir. Diana’s boys look a lot better than their father, too.

  28. 28
    madgastronomer

    If she’s Queen Regnant, then any child she has while married would be of royal blood. The legitimate child of a Queen Regnant inherits, or the current crop of heirs wouldn’t be heirs. It’s not as if people spent a thousand years giving the Queen’s kids paternity tests. She’s married, the kids are legit. Even within his own system, the question is answered simply.

    Hell, if they were that fucking concerned about it, they could get somebody suitably royal to donate the sperm.

  1. 29
    The Monarchy | Meddling Kids

    [...] wasn’t planning on posting about this until I read a post by Ed Brayton today entitled British Conservative Makes Terrible Anti-Equality Argument. In it, he shreds the comments of Lord Tebbit, who basically says, “But if we let gay folk [...]

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