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Peter Tatchell: The Queen’s silence on gay rights excludes and disrespects gay people

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  1. Peter. Her job is to be silent and let politicians be her voice, the fact she is coming out on this issue now is incredible, just enjoy this wonderful moment, why criticize her

    1. and the whole point of it is: she’s NOT “coming out on this issue”.

      she isn’t addressing it AT ALL.

      Mr. Tatchell is absolutely right. The Queen’s silence is implicit homophobia by omission.

      1. So she also believes in honour killing, FGM, crucifixion, stoning to death, killing rooms for female children in China, abandoning female babies in India, rape….. none of these things she commented on.

        1. MeganB, you should be ASHAMED of yourself! You have taken argumentum absurdum to the MOST absurd extreme possible.


          1. But logical.

      2. this argument has now been taken to the reals of ad absurdum.. we have a reigning queen not a ruling queen. She cannot get involved without causing constitutional tension. Would you rather her get involved in all things? usually silence implies agreement, but in this case she reigns in silence, it is unfair to imply she is a homophobe when she is putting her neck out and breaking with tension.

        1. John from MN 10 Mar 2013, 10:18pm

          Um, she isn’t sticking her neck out. If they had included sexual orientation you would have a point. As it stands, you are arguing she deserved recognition for an action she has never done, and is planning to avoid in order to ameliorate how bigoted governments interpret this act. Cowardice is not fitting such a monarch, reigning or ruling, and crediting bravery for an act of cowardice is even less so.

    2. Why is it a wonderful moment? Why is being pointedly excluded from an anti-discrimination document wonderful?

  2. As is usually the case, bang on the money Peter.

    1. here here!

    2. John from MN 10 Mar 2013, 11:06pm

      You have it all wrong. We were told the Queen would address anti-gay discrimination for the first time, but that is a lie. She isn’t. Please do what Thatchell was asking and point out where and how she is addressing sexual orientation. A metaphorical box labeled “other” at the end of the list of those who have protections just doesn’t count.

      1. “Although the charter does not include an explicit commitment to gay equality, the clause rejecting discrimination based on ‘other grounds’ implicitly includes a rejection of homophobic discrimination.” — Peter Tatchell.

        1. John from MN 12 Mar 2013, 3:57am

          I fully disagree with that part. If you ask all the commonwealth nations if “other” includes sexual orientation and each of them says yes, then I will agree that it implicitly adds sexual orientation. If the nations will not, then it is not included, implicitly or otherwise.

    3. Spanner1960 12 Mar 2013, 8:52am

      Hear hear!
      Sanctimonious, self-aggrandising old queer.

  3. After all the fawning rubbish this morning, this article is a breath of fresh air.

  4. Seems most of the comments on the earlier piece pretty much agree with Peter’s article –

  5. Nothing to argue with here at all.

    Thank you, Peter, for putting this article together and for setting this mornings article in context.

  6. If she made political statements on what she believed, whatever they were, you would be at the front of the queue telling her to shut up, unless it was on this one topic that you have a vested interest in. You cannot have it both ways. She makes no political statements because that is her role.

    1. Bit odd why you think being gay is political.

      What has politics got to do with it? The Queen has quite happily visited a Mosque. And the Women’s Institute (WI). Did anyone say she was political for building bridges with Muslims or women’s groups?

      So what’s stopping her visiting an LGBT charity, or the headquarters of Stonewall? She is our Head of State after all – she should support ALL of us, not just some.

      1. Spanner1960 12 Mar 2013, 8:34am

        Huh!?? Tatchell has made a career out of gay politics.

  7. Aunty Babs 10 Mar 2013, 9:10pm

    couldn’t be bothered reading to the end of this article…heard it all before and still do not agree with Mr T on this issue. ” her 61 years on the throne, the Queen has never publicly uttered the words lesbian or gay.”…i’ve never heard her use the world heterosexual in all that time either.

    “While she has spoken approvingly of the UK’s many races and faiths, for six decades she has ignored LGBT Britons” – ie pretty much par for the course with most employers and public figures over the last 60 years then.

    1. John from MN 10 Mar 2013, 10:25pm

      So she has never, not even once, publicly approved of a straight marriage, never congratulated wives and husbands, never once recognized any love or commitment between a man and a woman, or is this just a straw man argument?

      Why do you then change arguments in your second paragraph and imply she is homophobic, but try to excuse it because of her age?

      1. Sorry but, you misunderstood my comment, I think homophobic people are people who actively and vocally campaign to deny me my rights not those who don’t say anything bad about me at all.

        1. Well that is your big mistake then isn’t it. Do you think dictators like Hitler come to power because everyone supports them vocally or because everyone who is neutral or opposed just shuts up?

          1. I thought it was because he was appointed as chancellor by the president after repeated failures to form a majority government.

            If being neutral is the same as being hateful does that mean that you, twitless, hate every person that you have never personally and vocally supported?

  8. Completely agree Peter.

    The Queen has visited nearly everything during her reign, from a Mosque to a McDonalds. But has she ever visited anything to do with the gay community, like an LGBT charity? Or a refuse for young gay men kicked out of their homes? No, of course not.

    As Peter has mentioned, the Queen hasn’t even uttered the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ when she reads out the new laws annually in the Queen’s Speech to parliament.

    And this Commonwealth Charter is a joke. From the Daily Mail headline you’d think the Charter was a dream for gay people, when in fact it mentions every minority group except gay people! So the Queen isn’t endorsing anything to do with homosexuality. The Charter is nothing more than an insult to the gay community, written to protect the vast majority of Commonwealth countries which have homophobic laws.

    1. Again, Peter Tatchell wrote, “Although the charter does not include an explicit commitment to gay equality, the clause rejecting discrimination based on ‘other grounds’ implicitly includes a rejection of homophobic discrimination.”

      1. John from MN 12 Mar 2013, 4:01am

        Like I replied to you above, I disagree with that completely. If you ask all the commonwealth nations if “other” includes sexual orientation and each of them says yes, then I will agree that it implicitly adds sexual orientation. If the nations will not, then it is not included, implicitly or otherwise.

  9. I suppose she has led a rather sheltered life – perhaps if one of her family were gay … or one of her servants … she might have been more vocal in her support…

    1. 20% of her household servants are gay. It was just a few years ago that they were allowed to bring their partners to the annual Christmas Party.

      1. Didn’t spot the humour. Saien?

  10. Oh no not this man again

  11. I could be wrong but as far as I’m aware thus far there is no evidence that references to “sexuality” were omitted so as not to offend Commonwealth countries with anti-gay laws, apart from an unattributed assertion made in the notoriously unreliable Mail – which others have repeated.
    It could have been taken out by a diplomat who thought it might embarrass “her majesty”, for example…

    1. The fact that the queen has never mentioned gay people is the outcome of careful research by Peter Tatchell, and I see no reason to doubt it, especially since even her press office has failed to contradict this when asked. Whether the object of this evasion was not to “offend” Commonwealth countries is debatable, but I don’t see any possible alternative reason which reflects any more favourably on the queen than that one, so the motivation is moot anyway. And as for “a diplomat” removing references: aside from the fact that it would have to be a series of culprits during her 61 year reign, the queen still bears ultimate responsibility as Peter Tatchell also points out.

    2. Thanks to all who gave me a thumbs down.

      Not sure how you can disapprove of someone asking a question…

      Anyway in a statement just released Peter Tatchell agrees it was a speculative claim.

      1. could you double check this link, please fagburn…

      2. John from MN 12 Mar 2013, 4:03am

        It could have a lot to do with your name.

        I was going to give you a thumbs down for it, but after reading what you wrote I didn’t give a thumbs up or down.

  12. Hear, hear Mr. Tatchell! Right as usual!

  13. By what definition does it “implicitly include gay rights”? It doesn’t say, we would hope it would – but given the Charter is addressing 41 nations that still view us as criminals who fought against us being included, I think it’s an extreme stretch to assume we’re “implicitly” included.

    Those who respect gay rights may assume we’re implicitly included because they believe discirminating against us is wrong. But then, it’s not against such people that we need the protection of this declaration

  14. Helge Vladimir Tiller 10 Mar 2013, 10:38pm

    My opinion is clear : The UK should be proud of Peter Tatchell ! I’m too-living in another country.

    1. Spanner1960 12 Mar 2013, 8:40am

      Considering this isn’t his own country either.

      1. I understand that he’s been a British citizen for well over twenty years.

  15. oh ffs! the dictator peter tatchell talks rubbish again u know what pete. shut up. just shut up! ur little attention seaking antics are just boring now. with all the real homophoiba out in the world and he goes and picks on an old lady to which talking about ones private life must be uncomfortable. simply down to her being of her generation. i just love the way this guy takes one look at a person and decides whats in there heart or head! without having any evidence either way. and eveyone seems to lap it up! so she hasnt said anything in her life aqbout being gay…that wasnt talked about bsck then. my nan loved me to pits but still refered to my partner as my friend. because its how she tried to understand something new after 90 years on the planet! love the royals or not. itws up to u. but for god sake look at both sides of the coin. condem them for the bad things they have done, not what they havent!

    1. My grandma and her (staunchly catholic) closest friend are the same age as Liz Windsor, and both of them are strongly supportive of LGBT equality including marriage. There’s nothing about being of her generation that stops her from being the same.

  16. Agree with PT on this one. Afterall , I think Princess DI, Wills and Harry have all got involved with gay run aids charities. I don’t know about other gay run things. I wonder what Prince Charles’ record on LGBT issues is like? He’s the next in line and it would be a shame to have another uselss monarch with regards to LGBT rights.

    It’s not beyond royals to get involved in LGBT issues so the Queen should have done something more visible.

    1. well Prince Charles didnt turn a hair when the Lord Chamberlain read out the words “lesbian gay bisexual & transgender” inside Buck Hs in 2010

  17. Totally agree. Excellent article. It’s an insult to suggest this is her coming out for gay rights

  18. Jessica Naomi 10 Mar 2013, 11:26pm

    I am writing this from a former UK colony – the United States of America, where even after a revolution in 1776 the heterosupremacist apartheid UK Canon laws are still cited as an excuse to deny LGBT citizens our right to marry.
    The Queen of England &the UK MPS would have had to admit that you illegaly invaded countries on every continent, enslaved, tortured & murdered the people there violating their human rights, and left behind gay bashing laws.

    I wonder if Peter would have had to write this OpEd if LGBT activists & media had not insisted on cherry picking reality as your Queen NEVER did say she was for ending gay bashing laws because she is not but so may people think “OTHER” meant she is.


    1. Your comments are right about the Empire, though it is a little stupid to blame the whole British nation for the crimes of the past, just like I wouldn’t dream of blaming you for the Founding Fathers’ refusal to heed Thomas Paine’s advice on abolishing slavery and treating the Native Indians fairly. If I recall correctly, Thomas Jefferson was as enthusiastic about castrating ‘sodomites’ as he was keeping slaves. If you can’t shrug off Canon laws with your Declaration of Independence and Virginia Statute set in stone, you have to look closer to home – the reason why you need such protections is because the United States of America was full of religious nuts from the moment the Mayflower landed. And the consequences are being felt in Africa as a result, today.

    2. By my reckoning, the US has invaded countries on all continents except South America (though several US interventions in South American countries could perhaps be regarded as invasions) and Antarctica (which has no countries). So we are at most 20% more evil than you according to that measure. I also think you would be hard-pressed to demonstrate that any of these invasions were illegal (according to whose laws?).

      It isn’t really the LGBT activists/media cherry-picking this, but the Daily Mail. LGBT news sites are just blindly following suit. The queen didn’t say anything (she just signed an agreement between Commonwealth governments, which is just a formality – it wouldn’t have been acceptable for her to refuse).

      Also, nationalism is silly. If you had happened to have been born in another country, you would probably be ranting about evil American imperialists or something.

      1. On the other hand 11 Mar 2013, 10:54am

        Didn’t they steal Texas from Mexico?

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2013, 11:50am

          And California too I believe.

    3. Jessica, much of the homophobia that exists in lands that Britain colonised came not from statutes but from the Xianity that accompanied the colonists.

      Additionally, none of those former colonies has been ruled directly by Britain for a very very long time. They have been independent. They have had every opportunity to examine their own make-up and to move forward, just as Britain and other nations have moved forward.

      Those other nations are responsible for their own behaviour. It is not to the credit of many such nations that they have sought to do very little, if anything, about the homophobia existent within their borders.

  19. Mumbo Jumbo 10 Mar 2013, 11:29pm

    As many leaders and religious types in Commonwealth countries do not recognise LGBT rights as being human rights, the fact that they are not specifically mentioned as a qualifying group means they will just ignore the vague “other grounds” and carry on as usual.

  20. Nothing you’ve written has endeared me to your opinions.

  21. because the right, conservative, money-grubbing capitalists’ opinions have always been oh so supportive of LGBT (and other minority) rights, right?

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    And apparently none so stupid.

  22. The queen and her family are an embarassment to Britain.

    It’s beyond sick that we still have a monarchy.

    When the queen dies I wouild like to see that parasitical institution abolished.

    And considering the fact that Liz Windsor has never even acknowledged our communities means she’s no friend of ours.

    Get rid of her.

    1. John from MN 12 Mar 2013, 4:08am

      Speaking as an American, can someone explain to me what is the appeal of keeping the monarchy?

      1. The entire world looked on when there was the Royal Wedding, the entire world are interested in Will and Kates baby.

        That even in you don’t like them is true power, the power to effect change, what she says does effect many people and I for one am glad they are ours.

        You only have to look at the fuss this is causing to understand how important they are.

  23. This article is slightly unfair. We have no idea what the Queen’s personal opinion is, although given her age and background I would not expect her to be particularly Gay friendly. However, nothing she says officially is by her own hand. She is a mouthpiece for the government. If she has not mentioned Gay people it is strictly because no one wrote it for her.
    On the subject of Gay charities, Peter is probably right. While she is not at liberty to express opinions, she is able to lend support in other ways.
    I have written to Equalities Minister Maria Miller asking why GLBT was omitted from the Commonwealth Charter.

    1. Who cares what her personal opinion is.

      As the unelected head of state she could at least pretend to represent all of Britain.

      She can’t even be bothered to do that.

      There needs to be a referendum on whether or not the monarchy is maintained.

  24. He may be right in what he is claiming in his article.

    But we should not forget that he is a staunch republican.

    1. As are 35% of British people.

      You speak as it republicanism is only a minor thing in this country.

      It’s time that this very large percentage of British people were given the chance to vote for a republic.

      And it’s also time for the separation of church and state in Britain.

      1. I’m not commenting at all on whether this country should be a Republic or not.

        I am simply stating the fact that Peter Tatchell is not a fan of the Royal Family.

        You also claim that 35% of British people are republicans. This may well be, so if a referendum was ever held on whether to abolish the monarchy, the country would still be have the Queen as head of state,

        I agree with you on the separation of church and state.

  25. Is it leftie and pinko to want to be allowed to elect our head of state.

    If so then I’m a leftie pinko.

    The queen and her family are parasitic scum.

    1. Here, here, Steve! I agree totally.

      France survives perfectly well without its old royalty. Paris is the world’s top city-tourist destination.

    2. The thing is I know republicanism is more visible amongst us what was it… leftie twats, I think was the phrase in the other article. But really, the idea of the head of state having to work for the position, not having it handed out to them and unconditionally supported by the state, you’d think a lot of right-wingers would favour that too.

  26. ‘How much longer will the LGBT community have to wait for royal recognition and acceptance?’

    I imagine the queen will – eventually — give the LGBT community the royal seal of approval by accepting an invitation to a same sex society wedding and then send another member of the royal family to represent her at the event.

    1. I like to fantasize too, Doug. But better than fantasizing is taking action to make dreams into realities.

      The LGBT community needs to rise up and DEMAND that the Royal Parasites at least ACKNOWLEDGE that we EXIST!

  27. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2013, 11:29am

    Peter Tatchell again, Yawn!!

    Disagree with this but then with Peter being a Republican I guess the Gay press is the only place he can get away with a) bashing progress and b) thinks people will all agree with him.


    1. Jock, Peter is the last person who wishes to “bash progress”. Peter is a true progressive.

      It is aggravating for progressives like Peter to have to drag forwards the leaden weight of the self-satisfied and the unchanging.

      But the struggle continues. The extraordinary freedom that we enjoy today was only won by the exceptional efforts of progressives, like Peter and many many others, people who have CHANGED history rather than sat at home just reading it and believing that nothing will, or should, ever change.

  28. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2013, 11:58am

    I also suspect that the CoE might have had a hand in this too. We shouldn’t forget that she is the supreme governor of the church with homophobic Archbigot Welby, the titular head. I would presume the would be a conflict if she actually uttered explicit support of gay rights, let alone sign something with equally explicit reference to us and our rights? Personally, I think she should just to rock the boat and send a clear message to the bigots at home and abroad that discrimination won’t be tolerated or accepted.

    If Diana had been alive, I think there might have been a change. I suspect she would have also supported equal marriage.

  29. The Charter signed by the Queen is a substantially broader anti-discrimination statement than anything yet produced by the United Nations, for example. Its meaning and intentions are clear, including in regard to sexuality discrimination. Peter Tatchell is a congenital malcontent. Some people just can’t stop Yes for an answer. This is a significant progressive step, but too many prefer to bitch and moan rather than parse diplomatic language.

    1. John from MN 12 Mar 2013, 4:15am

      I don’t believe that is true at all. What I have read in the past coming from the United Nations is far more comprehensive than this charter, and explicitly includes sexual orientation . Can you back up what you said?

  30. ..Mr.Tatchell has got a valid point here. The Queen is told what to do and say when it comes to addressing the public, but she remember she must also not upset the majority of society (which is heterosexual) (so called). As fear and ignorance makes this topic very awkward for open discussion…

  31. think she sent a condolence to B Britten when P Pears died, but that’s all I can think of

  32. George Broadhead 11 Mar 2013, 4:06pm

    I think Peter is quite right in this assessment, but I give the Queen credit for recognising the contribution to society of the non-religious. See

  33. So Mr. Thatchell is seizing the opportunity for self publicity again.

    He admits that getting “other grounds” included in the wording was already an achievement – would he have preferred a 41/13 vote against.

    Any excuse for a rant

  34. It seems to me that we can easily see the Commonwealth Charter side-by-side with David Cameron’s threat to cut foreign aid to former colonies who discriminate against gays in such a way to give a finer meaning to the term ‘other grounds’.

    When these repressive and homophobic governments feel the pinch and read the Charter, there will not be any room left for ambiguity in the interpretation of the Commonwealth’s intentions.

  35. I for one would like to thank the news papers for specifically saying the hint from the queen actually means this.

    It could have gone a very different way and we got ignored.

    All the muggles now think that the queen has backed us specifically, even if she hasnt.

  36. i’m not sure it’s the Queen’s place to speak out in favour of gay rights, since her role as Monarch means she must remain impartial on anything remotely political. It should be noted, however, that her mother and sister had many gay friends.

  37. Denis LeBlanc in Ottawa 14 Mar 2013, 9:13pm

    The Queen should personally honour Peter for his lifelong dedication and service to the LGBT communities. I say: Sir Peter Tatchell.

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