Former Conservative Party chair Lord Tebbit claims air pollution is making people transgender

Former Chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Tebbit had claimed air pollution is making people transgender – a week after the Prime Minister told the PinkNews Awards that “being trans is not an illness”.

Lord Tebbit, a former Thatcher minister and Chairman of the Conservative Party, is a long-running opponent of LGBT rights.

The 86-year-old peer spoke out this week in an article in the Telegraph.

He claimed transgender people were a new phenomenon, writing: “I cannot recollect any such individuals among my fellow pupils at school, nor in my intake for National Service in 1949, nor so far as I know among my children’s generation at school.”

He added: “I think it is time we had some research into the extent of the phenomenon both in time and geographical reach.

“I do not know if the populations of third world or of urban or of rural societies are more or less affected.

“Nor is it known if it is only our species or others living alongside us which have been affected, but that knowledge might point to a trigger such as pollution, which is the belief of some scientists.”

It is unclear what scientists he is referring to.

PinkNews is not aware of any reputable, peer-reviewed academics who have linked gender identity to air pollution or other external factors.

Predicting this very article, Lord Tebbit  added: “I suspect that even to voice such thoughts may bring down coals of fire upon my head, but surely it is knowledge that is more likely than politically correct superstition to lead towards rational policies.”

Of course, merely anticipating that what you are saying will cause offence does not actually absolve one’s bizarre and intentionally-offensive opinions.

His pointed comments come after the current Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech at the PinkNews Awards last week in which she insisted being transgender is “not an illness”.

Theresa May at the PinkNews Awards

Mrs May had said: “Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have still not been defeated, and they must be.

“Bullying in schools and on social media is still a daily reality for young LGBT people, and that has to stop.

“Trans people still face indignities and prejudice – when they deserve understanding and respect. And when we look around the world, we see countries where the human rights of LGBT people are denied and terrible suffering is the result.

“We have set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and de-medicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness – and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”

Tebbit has plenty of form on LGBT issues.

A few months ago, Lord Tebbit insisted it was “perfectly sensible” to think gay acts are sinful.

He said: “[I think that] to be a homosexual cannot be a sin because that is what God has created, but it is perfectly sensible to argue that a homosexual act is a sin because that is what the Bible has said from the time of the Old Testament through the New Testament.

“So therefore, as a Christian, should you dump all that and still call yourself a Christian? It’s a bit doubtful.”

He added: “I opposed gay marriage because it is fundamentally not what marriage was set out to be.

“I don’t like this way of proceeding by simply changing the meaning of a word. We’re doing too much of that.”

Lord Tebbit also recently claimed materials created for LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education will “damage” and confuse children.

Speaking to the Mail, Lord Tebbit attacked Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity?, a book created by LGBT+ inclusion charity Educate and Celebrate to “start conversations about gender diversity in the classroom or at home”.

The Mail reports the book is routinely used by schools as an SRE resource.

The peer claimed: “I think it is damaging to children to introduce uncertainty into their minds.”

He said that the former PM had “f**ked things up” by introducing same-sex marriage, as it would lead to incestuous or polygamous marriage.

The peer claimed: “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? Why shouldn’t two elderly sisters living together marry each other? I quite fancy my brother!”

The peer has also argued against LGBT equality because he was worried about a gay royal becoming Queen or King.

During the equal marriage debate he warned: “There is, I believe, no bar to a lesbian succeeding to the throne. It may happen. It probably will, at some stage. What, then, if she marries and her partner bears a child by an anonymous sperm donor? Is that child the heir to the throne?

“If the Queen herself subsequently bore a child by an anonymous donor, which child then, if either, would inherit the throne?

“The possibilities must have been discussed.”

He added: “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 peer was a vocal supporter of Section 28, which banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools.