As the UK Telegraph introduces him, Lord Tebbit of Chingford is one of Britain's most outspoken conservative commentators and politicians. He was a senior cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher's government and is a former Chairman of the Conservative Party:
"...Certainly, no one seems to have thought through the massive legislative ramifications of the Prime Minister’s latest attempt to distance himself from that toxic Thatcherite Tory Party which kept winning elections. If one says it quickly and doesn't think too much about it, moving on from civil partnership to “gay marriage” sound like a pretty straightforward bit of legislation.
However, as Charles Moore writing in The Spectator has said, after a little more thought it looks more complex. Was anyone asked to check in how many pieces of legislation the words “husband” or “wife” appear? Are they to be replaced by some suitable non-discriminatory new word or words? Then what about the grounds for divorce? How will adultery be redefined? Exactly what kind of sexual acts outside marriage will constitute grounds for divorce? What will amount to the consummation of a marriage?
What fun will be had amongst our legislators as they grapple with the question of the appropriate titles for the “partners” of those who receive the honour of knighthoods, or are made Dames, Barons or Baronesses. At present we live happily with the inequity of husbands receiving no title when their wives are honoured, but surely that cannot continues under the politically correct new order.
Within the can of worms that Mr Cameron is determined to open there are several nests of snakes. Why should a marriage be confined to just
two persons? What is the barrier to the marriage of sisters, brothers or even parents and children?
Mr Cameron's justification for all this is that he believes in it “because he is a Conservative” is absurd. Conservatives do not turn over long-standing (several thousands of years across widely different cultures all over the world, in this case) with so little thought. He did not mention it when he set out his stall in the Conservative Party leadership election not long ago. Did he believe it then?"