Nice to see Edward has managed to have a word with her…
Why mark this down? It’s called a sense of humour.
What a load of nonsense. She won’t address anti-gay discrimination, only sign a charter that doesn’t even mention gay rights.
Exactly! Are we supposed to feel flattered, and included, by the term “on other grounds”?
The fact is: we are clearly unmentionable!
Not good, Madge!
Must try harder!
Why are you so FRIGHTENED of putting your foot down regardless of those commonwealth countries who think LGBTs are evil personified?
and it will not stop the criminalisation of homosexuality in 41 countries by signing this piece of paper because it is not explicit they will insist it does not include “the gays”
“The Queen is expected to refer to rights which must “include everyone”, and insiders are noting the appearance as a nod to inclusivity.”
How about the following for a revolutionary idea? What if the Queen were able to bring herself to use the words “sexual orientation” instead of alluding to our rights with a subtle nod and a wink?
Are LGBT people really so embarrassing that our right to freedom from discrimination cannot be called by its name?
Homosexuality used to be referred to as the sin “inter christianos non nominandum.” We have come a long way since then. But what a breath of fresh air it would be for it no longer to carry unbearable stigma for the Queen to refer to us, and our rights, by name, instead of by some euphemistic code.
Agreed. It’s simply not enough.
“Homosexual acts are illegal in 41 of the 54 Commonwealth nations, “
What LGBT face such severe discrimination and persecution in 41 of those countries, the wording has to be absolutely clear – definitely not a “nod” – that won’t do.
I’m in favor of expelling those 41 nations and just leaving it as 13 — the others can join back in when they meet the entry requirements.
That homosexuality is illegal in 41 of the Commonwealth countries is part of the reason why I imagine she feels unable to comment more strongly on this. In some of those countries, for example Jamaica, she is head of state. As an unelected, constitutional monarch, she is bound not to interfer with the politics of those countries, and openly criticising the laws of a country where she is the queen undoubtedly counts as interferring with the politics.
As for expelling those 41 countries. How will that work? Expulsion requires the vote of the majority of the Commonwealth members. I don’t like it either, but it’s just not possible.
I doubt that it is anything to do with the Queen – she is merely signing that which she has been asked.
Applauding the queen for NOYt naming us , for once again, publicly ignoring us?? In the long line of insulting we’ve had to endure from officials in this country, this is only but the latest.
And of course “we should be grateful” …I can hear it already.
We are the ONLY so called minority that has been consistently ignored by the head of state. And if we were to get into the numbers game we certainly are not and by far the most unsignificant of those minorities….so what did it and still does boil down to…well, I give it to you HOMOPHOBIA. Pathetic. And all the PR coming from the Palace or Stonewall will change nothing to the fact.
This changes my position from … I don’t care if we keep the Monarchy, to … I don’t think we should keep the Monarchy after the current Head of State.
If it doesn’t mention us specifically it doesn’t mention us at all. Who exactly knows that ‘others’ means LGBT, and who is to say it doesn’t refer to all sorts of other groups and not us? Just because she got so much stick last time for not mentioning us, now the Palace is saying she will say ‘other’ and apparently that is supposed to mean us !
I’m definitely no royalist, however I think the job Lizzie Windsor does for the UK is excellent. Do we need a President like Russia’s autocratic Putin for example or the vile Sarkozy who made France a laughing stock while he was in power with his horrendous attention grabbing and his equally horrendous attention seeking wife. Looking at some of the Presidents around the world I think a Queen or King with no powers is vastly more desirable than some of the despots a lot of countries are saddled with. Don’t forget of course that the “royals” bring almost ten times what they cost the state and of course they also now pay Taxes like the rest of us. I would however have a cull of the Civil list and have no one on it but the Monarch, her consort and the heirs apparent three times removed. Ie; Charles, William and Harry. Let the rest stand on their own two feet like any UK citizen.
**Time to get the churches to do the same and pay taxes on their vast wealth.
I hate that we cant edit after posting on this site… Please excuse the excess use of ” of course” in a sentence above…..
What a pointless, crappy, out-of-date relic the parasitic royal family are. Clear off and take your pathetic, non-committal “support” for us with you.
The queen in reality costs the UK nothing when you take into account that the Royals bring a vast amount of money in tourism and of course she no pays taxes… do you. The president of the USA costs the state almost $3 billion every year and there is no income associated with the presidency. One presumes from your comment that you and your extended family are a productive tax paying citizens and not a parasitic benefits collectors…?
Do you honestly believe the tourists would stop coming to look at the tourist attractions if the royals weren’t there? We could actually open up Buckingham Palace 365 days a year – that would bring in a lot MORE tourism. After all, the Tower of London – no longer royal – gets far more tourists than any royal residence. Windsor Castle isn’t even the biggest tourist attraction in Windsor (beaten by Legoland).
If you suppose that the monarchy does bring in income (nebulous), then OF COURSE the US presidency does too. If tourists visiting royal venues counts, then so does tourists visiting anything related to the executive arm of the US government.
And yes, despite the fact my income is far below average, I do indeed pay tax and subsidise these spongers.
How dare you insult the Queen – she is hugely loved and respected in this country – by all means express an opinion after you have met someone but ignorant comments like that are pure and ugly prejudice
That she is hugely loved and respected by some, many, even most Brits doesn’t mean she should be loved and respected by me. Shall we extend this argument to the outgoing pope? Should we all refrain from insulting him until we’ve all met him personally?
It is not prejudice. I am basing my dislike for her on her being the head of a family which – through their bloodline – is supposedly more important than you or me. She accepts inordinate sums of money to fund an extravagant and unearned lifestyle from people like me who will not earn in a lifetime what gets spent on her in a year. She perpetuates the notion that she and her family are the deserved recipients of this. She expects to be addressed by ridiculous and pompous titles and watch others indulge in farcical acts of deference to her.
I would not address my own mother as “your majesty”, I would not bow every time I see her, yet that beautiful woman has done more for me than the greedy git behind the palace gates ever will.
All arguments about logic and rationality aside, the Queen deserves your respect at the very least. You are trampling over a person who has devoted her entire life to serving her country and her subjects, who has advised Prime Ministers, served in a world war, swallowed any and all political opinions to remain a neutral figurehead, endured years of public appearances with barely any time off and no time ever to just be herself. That is dedication the like of which no other person in this country is expected to even come close to giving. And she does it without complaint, every day, despite people moaning about taxes and unearned income. Do you see her spending frivolously in Harrods, cackling with glee as she buys yet another ferrari? No. Nothing is really hers, it belongs to the State she represents. Think about the freedom you have that she doesn’t, and the fact that she willingly gives hers up for you and your country, before you bash her.
Welcome to the freedom of speech and opinion that we love so much in this country. It’s tough titties if you don’t like it, we do not *yet* live in a fascist state where adoration of our leaders is a requirement.
I build me opinions about people based on their actions and opinions. As the Queen has not expressed any desire to support ALL of her citizens, and even agrees to explicitly exclude mention of gay people, then I can rightly assume that she’s either homophobic, or that we’re all so irrelevant to her as to not need a mention.
When her actions or vocalized opinions show me I’m wrong, then I’ll have some respect for her and my estimation of her will improve.
I’ll address Sven’s comment here since I can’t see a reply button on that post.
She has not devoted her entire life to serving her country or indeed her “subjects” (god listen to yourself, you’re nobody’s subject). Advised Prime Ministers? Sorry, I thought she was supposed to be ceremonial? Just a minute late you say she’s swallowed any and all political opinions to remain neutral. Can’t imagine her “advice” was much use.
Endured years of public appearances (oh the humanity!) with barely any time off (simply not true). “Dedication the like of which no other person in this country is expected to even come close to giving”? Give me a break. Tell that to young single parents working as much as they can for their kids on the minimum wage, not being driven and flown around everywhere, having a damp council flat to return to instead of a palace, not having someone else to cook and clean. It’s insulting if you expect me to respect any of this. [cont.]
Do I see her buying Ferraris in Harrods? No I see her flitting from one palace to another, living a life of luxury which we are paying for. “Nothing is really hers, it belongs to the State she represents.” Oh really? So they won’t mind if a few of us plebs decide we fancy a few nights at Balmoral then? After all it’s not hers! That’s good to know.
She gives nothing up for me or for her country. She lives her lifestyle because we pay her. She receives because of this country you profess she loves. If she loves us, she should accept she’s got enough in the bank to be going on with, refuse any further state intervention, advise the palaces be opened for permanent public enjoyment, advocate the end of the institution and stand down. That, I might just respect.
If you don’t like it, change it. That’s what Parliament’s for. But she’s still a person as well as your head of state, and doesn’t deserve to be called a parasite, crappy, or a greedy git just because you don’t like her shiny hat.
I recognise that there are arguments over the relevance and viability of the institution, and I don’t agree with yours, but she deserves the same respect that any other person does in this country.
“If you don’t like it, change it.”
That’s what I’m trying to do by supporting the proliferation of republican views!
She deserves to be called a crappy greedy parasite if she demonstrably behaves in a way consistent with those descriptions.
I disagree that all people deserve equal respect. I respect all people unless they give me a reason not to. Josef Ratzinger has given me reasons not to respect him (well-documented). Jonathan Ross has given me reasons not to respect him (brown nosing twat, all-round creep). Adele has given me reasons not to respect her (whining about being rich meaning she has to pay tax, disparaging about Tottenham residents). And by how she chooses to live her life, Liz Windsor has given me reasons not to respect her. I respect people when they behave respectably.
If people think my behaviour doesn’t deserve respect and want to address me accordingly, go ahead. I can take it, it’s their opinion. If they can convince me they’re right I’ll change my ways.
Its funny how France (who executed their royal family) and the US which has a constitutional ban on anything to do with royalty, manage to have viable tourist industries. The tourism argument is just monarchist FUD which has been disproven.
As for the other monarchies – Spain has a monarchy and a tourist industry but the monarchy doesn’t influence “beach tourism” either way, unlike the Euro/Sterling exchange rate. The republics of Portugal, Greece, Malta, Turkey and Tunisia are other Mediterranean countries with summer tourist industries and they haven’t been harmed by being republics.
In reality the royals have cost this country a lot of money. Not all directly, given that the politicians who continue to fund the Windsor cult of personality from our tax money have added some of the cost.
Portugal has a king, Greece has a prince, Malta’s queen is Elizabeth.
Portugal doesn’t have a king (unless this is still the 19th century), and Greece’s prince is no longer recognised by his own country’s political system as a prince since both Portugal and Greece are, you know… republics.
Oh and Malta’s queen is not Elizabeth either. They don’t have a queen. Showing your age… : )
One other point – if people’s whose opinions are a minority should “like it or lump it” as you appear to suggest, homosexuality would still be illegal in this country. It’s the argument of a coward.
“Being in a minority doesn’t make me wrong.”
Forgive me, but I was always under the impression we lived in a democratic society.
Leftie twats like you always bleat on about democracy up until the point where it goes against your favour, then all of a sudden you pipe up about personal human rights or some other politically correct bollocks.
You cannot have your cake and eat it – pick your side.
That’s a straw-man – you’ve ignored my points and instead taken some vague and general arguments from “lefty twats like me” and ascribed them to me. As I said before, argue the issue.
I believe in the rule of majority except where it unfairly restricts the rights of others. I think that since the monarchy restricts the rights of the *majority* to be the head of state then by definition it’s undemocratic.
“Ah, but it’s just a ceremonial head of state, it doesn’t mean anything.”
In that case, get rid of it altogether.
But there’s a bigger point which is that for example – I believe current economic policy is wrong. But I also believe that with a democratic mandate the government has the right to pursue it even if I don’t like it. That’s democracy. But just because I’m in a minority doesn’t mean I have to shut up and accept it. I can still protest for change as loudly as I like. As I stated below, if people always took your view then gay rights would never have got off the ground.
You have just shot yourself in the foot – if by your reckoning “I believe in the rule of majority except where it unfairly restricts the rights of others.” yet “but it’s just a ceremonial head of state, it doesn’t mean anything.” so by that statement the Monarchy is not restricting the rights of others and the great majority of British wish to retain them, your argument hasn’t got a leg to stand on.
The “it’s just a ceremonial role” bit was me taking the chance to argue against the usual counter-argument before anyone had a chance to make it, which I suppose you could suggest was a straw-man of my own : ) (although a lot of people certainly do make it). It’s ceremonial, but I certianly think it means an awful lot – it reinforces and sanctions snobbery.
But if there is a de facto public sector position which pays millions of pounds and it’s not open to anyone except one family, then regardless of whether it’s ceremonial or not it is restricting the rights of the majority to apply for that role.
And given that that’s only one of the many reasons I’m against the monarchy, several of which I’ve already expounded upon, I would say my argument has many legs to stand on. Like a kind of republican centipede.
The Queen may be signaling her support for gay rights – but, in fact, it’s time for more than a signal. We need blatant, outright support for equality. Time to stop tip-toeing around the homophobes.
No she doesn’t. The list has a huge laundry list of categories which we are conspicuously missing from
“Other grounds” means we’re going to have to argue constantly that we count while people talk about “choice” and “behaviour”.
We’re not mentioned and the fact there is list suggests the exclusion is purposeful
But YAY she will say “other grounds” which may, possibly, hopefully include us. Ugh
The love that dare not speak it’s name.
That was when Victoria was queen. The mornarchy has sure come a long way!
It would have been better if she kept her mouth shut rather than to obliquely refer to us as the “others.”
at least that referred to it as being LOVE, now it is “behaviour”
I’m so happy. :)
People complaining because Her Majesty doesn’t speak out in support and so on don’t seem to realise that she does not voice her opinion on any subject. The stance of the monarch is always neutral, that is an essential part of being the monarch. It is wonderful to me that she is making this so public.
This is a “watershed moment for the Commonwealth.
Looking forward to hearing her speech.
“she does not voice her opinion on any subject”
Absurd. Why mention “discrimination” at all if it’s not taking a stance and voicing an opinion?
Why mention “gender, race, colour, creed, political belief” if it’s not taking a very specific stance?
What she IS doing, what they are MAKING her do, is specifically exclude LGBT, because if you don’t mention us specifically, we’re excluded. The paper reporting this was not reporting the facts in a clear way.
Oh get real.
The Queen NEVER voices her personal opinion.
She is an independent figurehead and speaks for the government of the day.
I’m sure had she been able to, she would have hung Gordon Brown out to dry for selling out our entire system of government to the EU, but it would have opened a massive can of worms, so she stays above it all.
Well blame the homophobic Tories then. It is they who wrote the bill and it is they who will write her speech. The Queen has never voiced an opinion of her own and rightly so. The Law says she cannot. There is constant whining about Charlies outspoken opinions as you will know if you live in the real world, which it would seem is doubtful from you ill informed comment..
She doesn’t though
There’s an implication that can be read as pro-gay – but only if we convince everyone reading it that we count as a minority, and that it’s not a “behaviour” or a “choice”.
The fact there is a laundry list of protected classes and we’re not on it points to this being silent on GBLT rights
Wasn’t her mother friends with Noel Coward?
What a pity that Pink News is maintaining its standard of tabloid style headlines that bear no relation to the body of the article. In her entire reign as monarch, Elizabeth has not once referred to gay rights and this “historic signing” does nothing to change that. What’s worse is that the “other” category into which we have been lumped is there simply to appease the homophobia of Commonwealth member states. Far from this being any great leap forward, far from it being Elizabeth’s championing of human rights, by signing the document that specifically had reference to gay people as a protected category removed, she is in reality endorsing the homophobic laws of Commonwealth nations. It’s a disgrace, but then given that she represents to an institution that is intrinsically discriminatory, given that she shared her Jubilee celebrations with tyrants and despots (like the King of Bahrain) wth appalling human rights records, it’s only to be expected. I say shame on her for participating in
a publicity stunt that will do nothing more than perpetuate homophobic discrimination within the Commonwealth, and shame on Pink News for trying to spin this into good news for gay people across the globe when it is clearly anything but.
If the story highlights that she is, in fact, not going to specifically commit to equality for LGBT then it will hopefully make people wonder why we don’t get a specific mention, and perhaps that will put pressure on the Palace to come up with a better more specific reference. Here’s hoping they do take notice of what people are saying, that user ‘other’ is simply unacceptable, and that it says more about Palace officials than it does her. We have a progressive politics here, of inclusive and equality and fairness, and if she can’t encourage others to work towards those human rights then what good is she? What, exactly, is the whole point of the Commonwealth if it’s not for all the people, regardless of gender, race, creed, colour, political belief .. and sexuality. I mean, if she’s not supposed to be political – why include any of those terms when some countries have very different views to women (gender), or faith (creed), or colour, or race (ethnicity) and sexuality.
Inviting heads of state such as the King of Bahrain to events is diplomacy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is where these decisions are actually taken.
She isn’t endorsing homophobia. The point of the thing is to reinforce and remind leaders of one of the main things the commonwealth stands for. It doesn’t matter who is specifically named. The point is clear; equality for all.
People oughtn’t take such pessimistic views. Regardless of whether you dislike the monarchy or Her Majesty.
Also remember that in many commonwealth countries we are illegal, and in some we can be killed due to our nature. And at a time when some of these members are trying to push through anti-gay laws, this charter focusing on equality and human rights will have an impact, despite not specifically naming sexual orientation. It isn’t only the central Anglosphere that this is addressing, it’s also the frankly less civilised countries.
Be careful, generalising over countries = racism, no matter what the reason. There are gay activists in Uganda too you know.
No it isn’t racism. Smh
Can you name a SINGLE one of those commonwealth countries where “our nature” was illegal PRIOR to being colonized by England?
England needs to be as unapologetic and courageous in promoting justice for gay people as it once was in promoting homophobia and injustice against us!
It wasn’t illegal because they didn’t live under the rule of law. You can’t just blame everything on our empire. Look at Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. It isn’t just because of old imperial law, it’s largely their religion (which isn’t always Anglican Christianity) and in many cases their native culture – their are hundreds and hundreds of cultures across the Commonwealth.
While you may be right in relation to many parts of Africa and the Caribbean, I think you’re rather overlooking the fact that the Mughal Empire in India and present-day Pakistan (as well as more or less independent kingdoms in the Subcontinent) and other nations like Sri Lanka had quite elaborate and sophisticated legal systems – none of which, to the best of my knowledge, criminalised homosexuality.
The only reason was most of them didn’t have any laws until we showed up. Up until that point most of them were still eating each other.
I do welcome any change in the law which improves our lives, within the Commonwealth, but the charter that dares not speak its name, is taking the whole point out of such a charter.
If a Queen cant get her head around the words Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans, then she is no queen at all.
“Homosexual acts are illegal in 41 of the 54 Commonwealth nations, and penalties include the death sentence in parts of Nigeria and Pakistan, 25 years in jail in Trinidad and Tobego, 20 years plus flogging in Malaysia and life imprisonment in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana”.
That doesn’t say much for the Commonwealth and Equality for LGBT community.People are being murdered and imprisoned.
The headline and content of the article is inaccurate.
We are not recognised in this Commonwealth charter. There is an “other” category and I suppose we could assume that we’ve been dumped into that, however the homophobic Commonwealth nations will undoubtedly believe that we are not included at all and will therefore continue persecuting LGBT people.
We should have been recognised equally with the gender, race, colour, creed and political belief categories. Until we are, there is little hope in the charter for persecuted LGBT people in homophobic nations.
Don’t be surprised if ‘sexuality’ was mentioned separately in the original charter drafted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, only for the Queen to insist on its removal.
Not totally convinced. A mention of non discrmination on grounds of sexual orientation should have been explicitly said. The media though is reporting this as the Queen fighting for gay rights and I guess that’s what most people will read. Better than nothing I guess.
As for David Davies MP, I wonder what Prince Philip thinks of idiotic Tory MPs from Monmouth. Why is he so obsessed with gay issues, I think he must have cardinal o’brien syndrome.
This article is misleading, based on a misleading Daily Mail story.
The Queen has not affirmed her support for LGBT rights. The Commonwealth Charter does not mention us.
Here’s the truth about what the Queen really thinks of LGBT people:
I’m not quite sure the Queen is ever going to say anything on gay rights unless she is told to. It’s interesting the article says
A diplomatic source said: “The impact of this statement on gay and women’s rights should not be underestimated. …”
and then goes on to say “A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace, said: “In this charter, the Queen is endorsing a decision taken by the Commonwealth.” But he added: “The Queen does not take a personal view on these issues. The Queen’s position is apolitical, as it is on all matters of this sort.”
Don’t know how the commonwealth makes it’s decisions and as most people have commented the charter doesn’t mention LGBT rights. Is it really the Queen we should be blaming though and isn’t it the people around the commonwealth table who are at blame. I doubt whether she has any say on anything in reality and I just think she would endorse anything if it was put before her regardless of her opinion but she’s not really going to initiate anything.
Peter’s point about having never visited a single LGBT charity is important – that would send a very powerful message. Why hasn’t she? Not one, not ever?
your answer : blatant HO-MO-OHO-BIA.
Enormously misleading article Peter. you conclude by saying the monarchy is homophobic, with the response to the Admiral Duncan bombing as evidence of such. The monarchy is an institution and yet you make no reference of the Prince of Wales’s visit to Soho to meet victims and businesses after said bombing; a convenient omission.
There is no positive evidence for your case other than a lack of evidence – that is not a case, but merely supposition.
I put it that rather than the monarchy characterised by homophobic prejudice, it is yourself who is characterised by class prejudice.
So if the Queen had never in her whole reign laid a wreath at the Cenotaph that would signify nothing? It would just be a lack of evidence.
If the Queen had never been on a state visit to an African country but had visited all the others, that would be just a lack of evidence. A supposition.
I think after reading Peters article you are showing signs of Tatchell prejudice Ian.
After the Admiral Duncan bombing, Prince Charles was the first public figure of any note to visit the site and talk to survivors. I think he beat the politicians (who, presumably were working out the pros and cons of being associated with the gays, rather than bombing victims) by two days.
Also, I’d dispute that the Queen or the monarchy is institutionally homophobic. Although the Queen doesn’t refuse to sign bills, apparently she does comment on them in private to the Prime Minister and other ministers. There is no evidence that she has ever objected to any legislation in the UK that has increased equality for LGBT people – from decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the 1960s onwards.
In fact, given her age and life experience, I’d be surprised if she were homophobic. She’s mixed with arisotcratic and upper-class woofters – and gays from the arts – in her life, that if she had expressed an opinion – even in private – it’d have leaked out by now.
Mm she should speak it loudly to her church ! as they are denying anglican queers their right and rites in the church
As too often happens, I wasn’t sure what this article was about until I read the comments. Who are you trying to convince of what and why, PinkNews? What a poorly dresses wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Basically: not good enough.
Why can’t the Queen EVER bring herself to mention the word “gay” in public??
Why has it always got to be alluded to??
I doubt she even says it in private
Despite the ludicrously positive spin put on this, it is appalling. The speech specifically mentions “gender, race, colour, creed, political belief” but carefully omits reference to us to appease the countries that wish to torture and imprison GLBT people. Why is this good news? The deliberate exclusion of GLBT makes it easy to ignore our rights and may even fuel homophobia.
No more discrimination against people we can’t mention.
Well that’s a good start then. Let’s put out the flags and celebrate……………… in a closet.
Misleading headline. The queen does nothing to address LGBT discrimination. What a joke that only 5 countries in the commonwealth do not class us as criminals.
So the LGBT population is now bundled up in some goup called “other grounds” are we?
Very misleading title for what is basically a document that means virtually nothing to gays in all of those countries where it is still illegal to be gay, who will point to it and say there is no protection for gays.
How difficult would it have been to put actually just use the 11 protected characteristics and name them in the charter?
You can tell that the Government is at the back of this as – just with equal marriage – they have managed to cobble together something that doesn’t do what it says and pleases nobody.
When it comes to laws and treaties, banning discrimination “on other grounds” is actually a fantastic thing, as it allows the courts to extend anti-discrimination measures to cover groups that were not considered at the time. This is how it works in the European Convention on Human Rights – it was written in 1950, so clearly would not cover LGBT people specifically, but more recently the European Court of Human Rights has made it very clear that they interpret it as banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual and gender identity.
I don’t think the Commonwealth Charter is actually enforced though, so even if people do interpret “other grounds” in that way, I don’t see what difference it will make.
So the queen isn’t expressing any personal opinion. She’s just endorsing a decision made by an overwhelmingly homophobic commonwealth for equal rights for all, that doesn’t mention LGBT. Somehow I suspect nothing is going to change.
I would like to have Prince Philip explain the royal stance on this subject.
“Dammit, yes. Pooftahs have rights too I suppose.”
The most hated social minority in the Commonwealth goes unmentioned. This is not publicly addressing anti-gay discrimination by any stretch of the imagination.
An Excellent step forward and one I am Proud to see.
Secretly the Royals have supported us due to the not so secret fact many Gay people work for them.
A good day for equality!
In my opinion, this development should be seen in the light of David Cameron’s threat to cut foreign aid to Commonwealth countries who refuse to recognize universal human rights, notably gay rights.
Also, I’m not about to forget that Hillary Clinton stated loud and clear that countries who maintain discriminatory laws are on the wrong side of history.
I can understand why religious loonies would object to royal consent of anti-discrimination laws that fly in the face of their interpretation of scripture, but frankly I am baffled by the negative and ungrateful responses on this thread.
That’s because you’re a Canadian, J-P, and you Canadians all think the sun shines out of her arse! She traipses off around the world, does royal “walkabouts” in her pretty coloured coats and hats, and the world believes she’s some kind of near-deity! While here in her own land, she and her family daren’t ever walk in public for fear of being either abused or assassinated! On the very few occasions that she has walked in public, the armed guards are prolific as are the snipers on every possible roof-top.
Into the fire with them all, I say!
I was thinking more in terms of the global movement towards universal human rights in this our 21st century, and how the Queen is dancing as fast as she can, sir. That does not necessarily make me a monarchist.
I’ve checked into the Commonwealth website more than once over the past year. It’s obvious that there is a genuine concern about that part of the British Empire’s legacy which was, and continues to be, toxic in former colonies.
To me, that means the secular Commonwealth Charter is becoming more relevant by emphasizing the tremendous discoveries of scientific research in the 20th century, and that’s more than I can say for the religious institutions that are the real culprits when it comes to homophobia anywhere in the world. Homosexuality is, after all is said and done, a natural phenomena, and it will continue to be so.
Surely you will not disagree with that, Eddy.
Btw, are you sure you are in a position to know what Canadians think these days? :D
“the Queen is dancing as fast as she can” ?
Ha, ha, ha! LOL! That statement is probably very true, and it means the woman is as slow and as dim as many of us have long since known. Remember Diana was not a terribly bright creature, but after just a couple of years in the saddle she learnt “to dance” much much faster than Bette Windsor. Within just a few years she saw it was important to sit down with a gay man with AIDS and be photographed doing so. Old Bette SAW that, it was YEARS ago, but old Bette, just not up to dancing at all learnt NOTHING!
“are you sure you are in a position to know what Canadians think these days?”
Jean-Paul, I have personal experience of the commonwealth experience of and perception of the British royal family. It’s much the same as the perception of Britain generally. And it’s received from the extraordinary PR that is pumped out by British TV period dramas and by films, which are sold all over the world, gobbled up by other nations.
It’s all lies
I would further appreciate your comment on this section of my comment:
“I’ve checked into the Commonwealth website more than once over the past year. It’s obvious that there is a genuine concern about that part of the British Empire’s legacy which was, and continues to be, toxic in former colonies.
To me, that means the secular Commonwealth Charter is becoming more relevant by emphasizing the tremendous discoveries of scientific research in the 20th century, and that’s more than I can say for the religious institutions that are the real culprits when it comes to homophobia anywhere in the world. Homosexuality is, after all is said and done, a natural phenomena, and it will continue to be so.”
“Other grounds” that is not a “watershed” moment, it’s pandering to the phobes and bigots.
In dealing with the Commonwealth HM has to walk a political tightrope. Publicly referring to LGBT rights in an organisation which is mostly hostile to said rights is not going to win their support.
Referring to equal rights rights in a broad context which covers all groups is a step forward to ensuring that the countries of the Commonwealth begin to see equality a universal right, not a group-specific one. …Simply marching up to the High Commissioner for Uganda or Malaysia cloaked in rainbow flags will do nothing to promote LGBT issues in their countries. As ever, HM knows Her diplomacy.
Nonetheless, subtle nods to LGBT issues, and in particular the palace press office giving nods to the media in that direction, are a significant statement in an established way of making one’s views known as uncontentiously as possible.
Maybe. But that doesn’t warrant such a gushing article.
Tim, how long?
How long before they find the strength and opportunity to include us specifically? Will everybody who is alive today and gay be dead by the time they finally put things right? We are in large part responsible for their draconian discriminatory attitude — along with religion, which has always been the driving force, even behind our own homophobia past.
People in these countries need urgent action now — not in 50 years, not slowly covertly incrementally. These countries have, most of them, signed treaties which requires them to treat people equally and fairly — yet they get away with blatant persecution and murder and brutality and discrimination and imprisonment. At least this country has evolved – some of those countries are going backwards. They need a poke with a sharp stick to live up to the expectations and ethos of the treaties they sign, and to the Commonwealth, and to common humanity and fair treatment of others.
Poke them with a stick though and we risk pushing them out of the Commonwealth altogether. It is far more important to keep these countries in the Commonwealth where they can be influenced and persuaded from within. Very little can be done on the international stage simply by forcing other countries to do what we tell them to, especially when ideas of imperialism are still fresh in the national psyche.
It’s just one part of a much wider offensive, and it shouldn’t be knocked for what it does do
“Poke them with a stick though and we risk pushing them out of the Commonwealth altogether.”
That would be absolutely fine – if they refuse to follow civilised rules, let’s push them out right NOW !
The thing is… Okay, for the community in the UK…it means nothing and actually is a reason to get annoyed and offended about the placement of “other grounds” but for Commonwealth countries…this *could* mean something. Even if it’s just because every single article on this has ‘insiders say it’s about gay rights and women empowerment’… If ANY of that actually carries to influence Commonwealth countries where LGBT communities desperately need that progression…that’s awesome.
At least it’s in the right direction, a lot of those Commonwealth countries are extremely homophobic.
Typical of Summerskill to be lauding something that really does nothing for us – and could be argued to the contrary.
It’s like Stonewall crowing about how close we’re getting to Equal Marriage – as if they had contributed something poditive to the debate.
The Charter doesn’t mention ut includes refs to other status which under various international courts has been held to include sexual orientation. The explicit nudge comes if Her Majesty gives a speech referring to ‘rights must include all’.
It’s not much to hang a story on ut it’s an important point bearing in mind how appalling the Commonwealth is on LGBT rights at even a basic level – but you have to start the process of addressing this somewhere.
It is though quite funny to read of the commitment to international human rights instruments when the UK govt is toying with the idea of ‘scrapping the human rights act’ and pulling out if the ECHR.
In the UK human rights are something for other countries to adhere to.
Surely this headlines needs re-wording. It’s sensationalist and inaccurate – ‘publicly address anti-gay discrimination’ should read ‘perhaps alludes to’. Come on, PinkNews.
How far will this Commonwealth Charter go on human rights? Will human rights be limited to Muslims in countries like Pakistan, Maldives or Nigeria? Will gays be excluded from human rights in the majority of Commonwealth countries which still criminalize homosexuality?
Of the 53 Commonwealth countries, 40 still criminalize male homosexuality ranging from countries like Singapore and Sri Lanka which don’t enforce the law to Nigeria where the death penalty applies in parts of the country under Sharia Law. While I hope that the new charter may persuade some countries like Guyana and Belize to change their legislation, I do not hold out much hope for the likes of Uganda.
The majority of these Commonwealth countries should not be made welcome in Glasgow when the city hosts next year’s Commonwealth Games.
And let’s just remember who put most of these anti-gay laws in place.
WE DID, historically, as part of the legacy of the British Empire. She needs to absolutely stress that we have evolved on this, and that they should review the laws we left behind.
Does she not recognise that her own government is restricting aid to those countries with highly repressive anti-gay rights law? David Cameron said
“It’s simply appalling how people can be treated — how their rights are trampled on and the prejudices and even the violence they suffer,” he said. “I want Britain to be a global beacon for reform”
He also said;
those receiving UK aid should “adhere to proper human rights”
‘other’ just won’t do.
We did what every country did in the past. Britain is by no means unique in this respect.
I think you will find anti-gay statutes on the books at some time of most countries.
Fortunately the more advanced and civilised ones have seen the error of their ways.
this article should be titled ‘The Queen publicly address anti-others discrimination’
the charter then should read: “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or the so called ‘have a guess’ other grounds
Shame on you PN for trying to spin such a blatant SNUB into “a watershed moment” !
Note the two-for-the-price-of-one mentions of ‘Race’ AND ‘Colour’, yet it’s doubtful whether we’re even allowed on the bus at the back.
What a woefully miserable contrast with Obama’s inauguration speech, where there’s no doubt about his sincerity and strength of belief.
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…..
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
It’s the real thing – no euphemisms or anything anodyne there !
The key section is from 15:30 to 16:50 but it’s well worth watching in its entirety.
And don’t forget the lengthy speech by Hilary Clinton on Dec 6th, 2011
I think you’re missing a major point though. I get why the UK community is offended by this, but to me, this is not about us here. Obama wasn’t speaking for dozens of countries where homosexuality is illegal and death is a penalty. It’s not a fair comparison. David Cameron would be the Obama comparison and he has again and again said the treatment of gays around the world is unfair, appalling and needs change.
But radical, dictated change…it doesn’t help. Real change needs to make people believe that change, those countries have to believe it themselves so they can carry it through. And the only way to do that is carefully, with example and time. And often sneakily, which is what I think this is.
Every media is reporting this the same way; positive for LGBT rights. That’s the spin coming directly from the Monarchy media. Regardless of what is actually happening in that signature, everything is reporting that it’s about gay rights… That carries. It’s a platform, at least.
NO. Every medium is just robotically copying and pasting the Daily Mail article.
The ‘watershed’ story may be well sourced, but the best interpretation I can come up with is ‘Damage Limitation’.
Even that’s not very convincing, because a simple re-write would have solved it.
Whatever the original intention, in terms of equal rights for gays it’s backfired spectacularly. It means that all the nastier Commonwealth countries can carry on just as before, claiming full compliance and cashing all the Overseas Aid cheques.
Curiously, it is not just pink news reporting this story as an up-beat endorsement of Gay rights!
In the Telegraph, Robert Watts reports the story in the following manner
“The Queen will sign a new Commonwealth charter opposing discrimination suffered by women, gay people and ethnic minorities.
In a special ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day on Sunday, she will also give a speech endorsing the new agreement which states signatories oppose “all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds”.
Although the term “other grounds” has been interpreted as referring to LGBT people, it does not appear that a direct acknowledgment of LGBT people will be made explicit
Everyone including PN seems to have slavishly recycled the Mail’s story together with the Mail’s interpretation as well. Given the Mail’s notoriously homophobic stance, it’s very curious why they have taken this line: it’s almost a respectable piece of journalism !
Normally any apparently favourable comment by the Mail would be intended to drive their readers into a frenzy in the hope that the proposed change would be derailed. Obviously, with the signing taking place tomorrow, it’s very unlikely that anything will change.
So perhaps the Mail does have some inside information and it really is a watershed moment. But it’s a certainly a funny way for the Palace / Government to express support, especially when it so easily can (and will be) interpreted as deliberate exclusion.
Sorry to say UK- but Your Queen is far behind The Royal Families in Norway and Sweden ! They include the gay and transgender community with LOVE and proper words–no taboos-
I think you are missing the point of what this means. The Queen, is not only the Head of State of the UK, but of several other countries, many of which have anti-gay legislation. as such, the Queen can’t express an option that goes against the laws of these countries, no matter how much she disagrees with them.
However, it is easy to see that these articles are being pushed by the Palace and the government, making it clear what the Queen’s position in this topic is, even if she can’t explicitly state it. Hopefully this will influence other countries to drop their discriminatory laws.
I’m not a royalist at all. But a few years ago, I had the chance to talk with our Queen in a local church here in Oslo. My information that I was homosexual didn’t create any negative reaction in her face.She smiled friendly and said :” That’s interesting”. Followed by nice words about respect and an inclusive society for all people !! Our Queen and our King have -by several occasions-demonstrated that THEY are Queen and King for all reseidents in Norway. It is well known that the Crownprince and The Crownprincess have openly gay close friends-That seems VERY natural for them !
Helge, yes, if we have to have this old royal baggage still hanging around in this day and age they should at least get with it, as they have in Norway and Sweden.
As for the nonsense that she brings in money: Paris is a far greater draw than London and they did the appropriate thing with royalty long long ago.
Helge, you can’t compare what the children of the Norwegian monarchs do with what the queen does. What has the King of Sweden ever said that could be considered pro-gay?
The Royal Family of Sweden was fully aware of the fact that their Crown Princess was to participate in the Swedish “Gay Gala” arrangement. And The Royal Family of Norway isn’t opposing to the close contact The Crown Prince and his Wife have with gay people–also gay persons working in “connection with The Castle.” They ALL welcome the positive development for gay and transgender people ; Gay Rights. Although this fact isn’t mentioned so much with words in a public setting. But among FRIENDS ! To compare these families with The British Royal Family is hard. They simply are different, to put it mildly. I consider Sweden to be the most gay friendly country in the World ! And the positive talk I had with our Queen in a church here in Oslo more than clearly told me about a “gay friendly and very human person”-
My point was only that you should compare the Scandinavian crown princes and princesses with the family of the Prince of Wales, not the queen. As you yourself say, the Scandinavian monarchs don’t say anything especially positive in public either.
Yes-yes -yes !((Of course I know they have to be politically neutral —) But their behaviour signalize : Homosexual people have the very same value as heterosexuals ! Once our Queen embraced an addicted person (heroin )on a pavement in central Oslo, ( after a meeting )With arms and cheek !!! A really warm hug.–Just to tell a little about the difference between Norway and England.Have The British Queen done anything similar ? You know, there is no nobility in my country- just the Royal Family. Our King and Queen went to ordinary public schools when they were young–and later in life. The Queen was an ordinary, common citizen of Oslo when she fell in love with The Prince. In many ways they are very, very CLOSE to “ordinary”people- like me for instance. I think you understand what I’m trying to relate with my modest english. All The Very Best to You, Rehan !
So why are the media talking this up on the issue of gay equality? In the hope of sending a message to the heads of some of the Commonwealth countries? A lawyer would argue that ‘other grounds’ includes gay people because they are not EXCLUDED by the wording. But my exxperience in this area is that if we are not specifically mentioned then nothing much happens. It is a peg to hang on to to allow some campaigning but a pretty shaky one.
Perhaps the LGBT lobby ought to link forces the disabled (also conspicuously not mentioned) and demand some action.
I think I know why “other’ is used to include LGBT people. It’s the f_cking CoE. You can bet Archbigot Welby had some say in this too since the Queen is supreme governor and he’s the defacto head of it. Can’t upset those right wing Anglican bigots at home and abroad now can we? After all, their rights are more important than ours and we don’t want to upset them. I find this pitiful, a feeble attempt to indirectly acknowledge us. Not impressed.
But the truth is this was discussed back in 2011, and the Commonwealth Secretary endorsed gay rights;
Others weren’t happy about it, but several spoke specifically about repealing anti-gay laws. They even set up the Kaleidoscope Trust here in the UK, to encourage ministers to mention gay rights at meetings with foreign powers.
Amazingly it was India who seems to be a block to progress!
Why are so many people on here being all angry about “ooh, it’s not enough” or “oooh, it means nothing” or, worse, the very obvious “ooooh, David Davis is an idiot”.
Why can’t you all just be happy for once? This is better than nothing, just accept it as a success and then we can work to build on it!
Is it? We were LGBT before … now we’re apparently “other” :(
That doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Loads of things are better than nothing. If I am hungry then the cold leftovers from yesterdays take-away are better than nothing, but I wouldn’t expect guests to be grateful if I served them up for them.
I’d like what everyone else gets, I don’t want to be second-class, I don’t believe there should be a second-class. All the treaties signed by all those nations, and our own Universal Declaration of Human Rights says we are all equal – but people signed up to that aren’t upholding those principles – which is what the Commonwealth meeting back in 2011 said.
Do we really have to put up with 1,000 small steps rather than two large ones ?
Happy about what?
We’re not included by this – we’re not even remotely included under “other”. And we’re not included because over 40 members of the Commonwealth have laws that persecute GBLT people
How is this a good thing? A charter against discrimination – but not including GBLT people because the vast majority of representitives think we should drop dead?
Why are you happy about being called other, assuming that other does refer to LGBT.
Since this is also very cryptic and covert . . .
How eactly do we build on this ?
Well, its not easy to bring ‘the love that dare not speak its name’ in the lips of 86-old descendant of Queen Victoria. However, her uncle Prince George, Duke of Kent, was gay. In this sense gay rights must/can be for Queen Elisabeth something like legacy of family, and not just ‘new reality’ of past few decades. But its not. I suppose, government of Cameron has propose in this speech very clear support for gay rights, but Buckingham Palace has say No, and current form of this speech is ‘compromise’.
I doubt Buckingham Palace has put the kibosh on it.
As has been noted (and down-voted) elsewhere, she is Head of State in 16 countries as well as being the Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen and Buckingham Palace don’t get to dictate the terms of the Commonwealth Charter to any member of the Commonwealth. All Buckingham Palace can do is try to get get those countries to agree to it.
While most commenters here are aggrieved (rightly) that we don’t get a mention, I’d prefer to dwell on the positive in the Charter. While we take things like the equality of women as a given, it’s still a new and shocking concept in some countries – as is racial equality. (Don’t forget that women only got equal pay in the UK in 1971). In historical terms, it’s still a new concept in British culture (and women still don’t get equal pay!).
‘Other grounds’ is insulting, but in the greater scheme of things, I welcome it as a baby step forward considering the opposition any thing gay faces in some countries.
As a largely irrelevant aside, please note the Duke of Kent was bisexual – his penchant for black women was reportedly as strong as that for Germanic young men. I doubt he’d be seen as “gay” as we know it.
Duke of Kent was married Princess Marina of Greece, his son Michael is current Prince of Kent. But Oscar Wilde has some women affaires in his youth in Oxford too, and of course was father of two boys. Is Wilde not important part of gay culture and history, gay icon etc.?
Yes, but I don’t think Wilde continued a sexual interest in women (other than his wife) after he “discovered” homosexuality, and later he publicly proclaimed his love for another man. Neither can be said of the Duke [not prince] of Kent.
Has I say that Prince George was not Duke of Kent ? Read one more time please.
‘Queen Elizabeth II has never publicly voiced her support of equal rights for gay people.’
Civil partners get invites to the palace nowadays. I remember a time when divorcees were strictly persona non grata at the palace. Presumably, in time, we will see a royal attending a same sex society wedding.
Presumably, civil partners get grudging invitations to the palace nowadays only because of The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, not because of any initiative from the palace itself. :-(
How can we know for sure, one way or the other?
Didn’t the queen send a message of condolence to Peter Pears when Benjamin Britten died, ‘way back in 1976? And Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (the Master of the Queen’s Music), by no means a monarchist, has reported that his builder husband Colin is always made to feel welcome in her company.
It is a meaningless declaration when 41 out of 54 Commonwealth member nations have laws against homosexuality; I think there is a good case for turfing at least come of those nations out of the organisation, in particular those who have the death penalty for being homosexual or who brutalise gays, rather than placating them with bland euphemisms.
I am however in general a supporter of having Monarchy, but not a blind supporter; certainly I don’t want a ‘President’ after the US/French model – they cost at least as much in any case. The German, Irish or Israeli models might be suitable in the future if enough people want it, but I think the Queen has done a pretty good job.
I am dubious of this story, she is a constitunional monarch only, i.e a figure head, but she does have influence, so let’s just say it is true, the fact is that pro-rata Transsexuals are more likely to face discrimination than gay people, as we are more obvious to the general public, especially in the early to mid transition stage, and in many cases post transition, so why isn’t she going to tackle transphobia as well.
“other” can mean anything. You can assume you are included — or even excluded. It’s a total nondescript word, meaningless. I would hope you’re included in Gender (Identity) but in reality people will see that term in whatever way suits them, and gender doesn’t go far enough, transgender protection needs spelling out explicitly, so specific inclusion of LGBT rights, in full, is what is required.
postopgirl, hey, now you’re pushing it! LOL! :-) Getting that old baggage to pucker her lips and say “gay” or “lethbian” would probably kill her! Asking for her to utter the word “transexuals” would MORE than kill her! It would probably instantly evaporate her into nothingness! Queen gone! :-)
(Image of me with Queen on the ground, kneeling over her, hands round her gullet! “Say it, Madge! Say it! Say the word ‘tran-sex-u-al’! SAY IT!)
Hogwash, there is no inclusion for oppressed LGBT people across the commonwealth many of whom murder and imprison while these bigots cozy up to them. This is reported by the hate mail only so the next headline can be ” Have they not had enough concessions” as they start to challenge equality once more. Shame on you PN and other publications for giving this air
After the words – “gender, race, colour, creed, political belief” :
Please add this words after – “or non political belief, religious or non religious belief, marital or relationship status (includes de facto relationships or civil partnerships), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or intersex status”
I want to add religious or non religious belief – to also deliberately include atheism or atheists and to include non political belief – so people who hate politics or people who do not vote are also included!
I agree, it’s high time us atheists were recognized too.
After all, the non-religious segment of the UK population is larger than the religious one. Most Brits who refer to themselves as “christian” don’t even believe in the doctrine, they’re ‘cultural Christians’ which is fine but it confuses the real amount of faith heads there are in the UK.
“Creed” is religious belief or otherwise
If this is a genuine attempt to prevent homophobic discrimination then it should be appreciated.
However, to me the wording seems too vague for it to produce much of a benefit for LGBT populations in most commonwealth countries, especially given that there are some strict anti-gay laws put in place in those countries. It seems like it will boil down to what the law explicitly states vs. what a charter might be hinting at. I don’t know much about which laws supercede others, but it seems to me like if anti-gay laws haven’t been eradicated or criticised then there isn’t much of a reason/incentive for those countries to make any changes.
Given that she is the Queen, her support could have really done something if she was explicit about it in those countries. I hope this charter does bring about a positive response though.
Evan, as you say, “given that she is the Queen”. I refuse to accept monarchists’ belief that she is a paralysed figure, completely unable to do or say anything at all that she wishes, guided entirely by advisors, bishops, public servants, and government ministers. We have to remember Diana. Diana just DID it. Yes, she was a loose cannon; yes, she did it against what Buck House would have her do; but nevertheless she DID it; and despite her aristocratic connections we loved her for it. This old Madge could do something of the same. Perhaps old Madge might not be able to bring herself to touch the hand of a gay man with AIDS, as Diana did, but old Madge could certainly make an effort, couldn’t she. But as Peter Tatchell has said: in 61 years Madge has done precisely nothing re. we LGBTs. It’s fair to say therefore that old Madge has STUDIOUSLY made SURE that she has not said or done anything in support of us.
If she can’t say the word “gay” then we don’t exist, to her, or her speech. Simple as. This isn’t even news worthy. Maybe her son/grandsons will step up to the plate, But I’m disappointed in her.
As a bisexual, disabled woman, all this invisibility is making me quite giddy with delight.
I’ll also point out that the current government is at least grudgingly bringing on equal marriage, hasn’t done a thing that I’m aware of for the trans community, and has actively made the lives of people with disabilities much, much worse. There are quite a few “other grounds” that need to be openly discussed.
I’m afraid this is NOT true, the Queen is NOT SUPPORTING LGBT Rights!!!
Please read below.
Media reports are wrong. The Queen has NOT expressed support for LGBT equality. The Commonwealth Charter that she’s signing includes no pledge on LGBT rights. LGBT rights were deliberately excluded. READ: http://bit.ly/Xd36CI
In 61 years as Queen, she has never publicly uttered the words lesbian or gay. She is a patron of hundreds of charities but none of them are gay ones. Not once has she visited or supported a gay charity.
This Daily Mail report is misleading: http://bit.ly/X9AaM3
For the last four years, I’ve been pressing Buckingham Palace over the Queen’s failure to acknowledge the existence of LGBT people – and got nowhere.
The Commonwealth Charter does not include any specific rejection of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This was vetoed by the homophobic majority of member states. They blocked its inclusion in the charter.
This makes the Queen’s signing of the charter even less of a big deal. It is certainly not the breakthrough for LGBT rights that some people are claiming.
In May 2011, I blasted the Commonwealth over its shoddy record on gay rights.
This prompted the Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, to publicly condemn homophobic discrimination for the first time. Bravo!
But since then, Commonwealth progress on LGBT equality has been slow.
More than 40 of the 54 Commonwealth countries still criminalise homosexuality, mostly under laws imposed by Britain during the colonial era. Six of these countries stipulate life imprisonment. Uganda is currently considering legislation that would introduce the death penalty for repeat gay offenders.
READ this detailed critique of the Queen’s failure to acknowledge and include the LGBT community: http://bit.ly/Yl8jC5
Thanks for those links, Daniel! I am totally in agreement with you. And I particularly like your final lines:
“The monarchy is homophobic – if not by conscious intent, then certainly by default. As head of state, the Queen is supposed to represent and embrace all British people, not just some. How much longer will the LGBT community have to wait for royal recognition and acceptance?”
As for your final line, I’m friends with an old establishment girl of 92 years of age but she has no problem with me and my partner or with homosexuality, which suggests to me that Madge is simply a lost cause. But if Charles is sidelined and William gets to play at monarch, then there could be a thaw towards us, provided his “advisors” allow it, but of course his “advisors” include the leaders of that damned cult the Anglican Church.
The Queen cannot include LGBT rights because she would have to admit that the UK wrote gay bashing laws in the countries the UK illegally invaded, and she will NEVER do that.
Why are all these LGBT activists and media spreading lies? Cherry picking reality is ridiculous.
May I remind the readers that The Swedish Crownprincess was present at this years “Gay Gala” in Sweden, where she handed over The Prize for “årets homo” ( The homosexual of The Year-2012). With these words: “I’m here to give this Prize to The homosexual of the Year”. Is it likely that an event like this -with the participation of a member of The British Royal Family – will take place soon ?! I wonder—
Helge, THANK YOU for that information. I don’t believe any of us here have been aware of it. I don’t believe that it has been reported in PinkNews, or the Guardian or Independent. But it should have been!
The very NOTION of a member of our royal family puckering up his or her lips and uttering the words “I’m here to give this prize to The Homosexual of the Year!” is just mind-blowing. In fact, it’s inconceivable. Our establishment here, of which the Queen is the highest and most central figure, is soooooooooooooooo conservative and Tory that such a thing could never happen.
I am quite sure that there are many occasions on which members of our royal family sigh with relief, “Oh, thank goodness, we’re Royal Family. It means we don’t have to show approval of these damned queers!”
It’s going to be interesting to see if Charles gets sidelined and William becomes “our” next monarch, because if he does he’s going to feel challenged to break with the stuffy old mould of Liz Windsor
Hi Eddy ! Hope you are OK ! Yes, this event and the participation of The Swedish Crownprincess was mentioned in PinkNews. Look it up- She used the word “homo” ( equals homofil , or homosexual in Scandinavia and The UK ) A “stronger” word than gay- because it also reflects the sordid past when LGBT-persons were extremely suppressed. By that time homo was totally negative. NOW WE have conquered this word – made it “our own” so it has lost its negative image. A way of fighting back- (In linguistics it is really a neutral word ! ) The Norwegian Crownprincess also went to India in order to help close gay friends to bring home to Norway children born by a “surrogate mother”. (Also mentioned in PinkNews !) So Eddy, I do think dear England is more than slightly different from Scandinavia when these matters are being scrutinized. But changes will come- I’m sure ! Hope my English is easy to understand ! Warm wishes from Oslo, Norway !
I suppose you are implying that the Lutheran Church is years ahead of the CoE, and you are probably right, although not in the USA.
At the same time I don’t know that the issue of gay rights has ever found its way to the agenda of the Porvo Communion, although that would be a good place for these national churches to evolve together.
Still, I hesitate to focus too much on royals and religions because the central issue here is the British Commonwealth Charter and how it is about to transform politics in the UK, and by extension hopefully in its former colonies.
One of the Queen’s first official acts as monarch was to sign the decommissioning warrant of an officer in the army convicted of homosexual acts. This monarch deserves no praise for any statement she might make, even vaguely in defense of LGBT equality.
Hear, hear, David!
I tried writing to Maria Miller about this, asking that GLBT people are specifically included. Her mailbox is full. Will keep trying.
I can understand the negative reactions to this. I’m a bit peeved, too.
But, frankly, I can’t see what more could be done in ‘real politik’ terms. She’s head of state of some homophobic countries and she’s simply not allowed to interfere in the politics of those countries.
It’s all well and good to accuse Madge of being homophobic, but the fact that she hasn’t said the words ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’ in Britain means she hasn’t said those words in any of the other countries where she’s Queen. We’re objecting in the West because she’s not actively in support.
In some other countries, the LGBT population is just grateful that she’s not uttered those words in condemnation.
I know that is a weak argument here in Britain, but if you’re in a country where you can be imprisoned, punished, beaten up and even killed for being gay, the fact that your head of state refuses to condemn you is worth something.
Your politicians might say the most godawful things about you, but your Queen refuses to.
so sorry… meant to give you a thumb’s up..
I’m sorry, but that’s utter rubbish. We have been deliberately excluded from statement, and she is a monarch – what, she can’t have her own opinion? Utter rubbish.
People are supposed to be “happy” that the Queen hasn’t openly condemned gay people? Wow, I’m sure all those victims of state violence and murder in all those commonwealth countries will feel real happy that the Queen hasn’t also attacked them – when SHE COULD HAVE DEFENDED THEM.
I repeat my last statement – she either agrees with the discrimination, or she’s a weak woman with no capacity to express an opinion. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and just suggest that she doesn’t give a rats ass about the lowly serfs.
No, Bloke Toys, she’s not a weak woman.
She’s a head of state and she’s a Queen.
Irrespective of her own personal views, she’s there to represent the entire nation – the good and the bad.
But she’s there to represent ALL the nations in which she is head of state.
Set your (presumably) Western ideology aside for a second. Let’s look at it in terms of reality. If she objects to homophobia, what happens?
She gets removed as head of state and someone else gets the job. She refuses to condemn gay people, The politician who replaces her campaigns on the populist, active condemnation of homosexuals.
What’s better? The non-commital head of state who refuses to say gay people are bad or the democratically elected head of state who says gay people are the devil and deserve to be exterminated?
You say she’s bad, but if her existence ensures something worse doesn’t come along, how bad is she?
Refusal to condemn is only the slightest sliver of hope – but it’s hope.
Also, although there seems to be an agreement that it’s all those ‘backwards’ nations that have objected to a more positive statement. But how do we know that it’s not Australian Julia Gillard or kiwi John Key objecting because any mention of gay equality could be regarded as the Queen interfering in the political life of their countries?
Or, indeed, Dave Cameron objecting to perceived Royal interference in the equal marriage debate in the UK?
I understand the criticisms of this move. But it’s still a move forward. It might not be great, but it’s one hell of a big step in places like Nigeria and Pakistan and Jamaica. It’s also gently significant in Australia and New Zealand.
Although this isn’t what we want, it’s still significantly better than the void thsat existed before.
Are we supposed to be proud of this?
“The “other grounds” clause in the charter is intended to refer to sexuality, however specific references to gay and lesbian people were omitted due to some Commonwealth countries with anti-gay laws, reports the Daily Mail.”
I’m sorry, but this woman doesn’t give a rats ass about gay people or their rights. I have never seen any evidence of her caring about it, and this supposed “landmark” is nothing but a slap in the face gay people throughout the commonwealth.
We have been deliberately and clearly EXCLUDED from this statement, and all because the “Commonwealth” allows discriminatory gay laws to continue!
I have lost a lot of respect for thee royal family in the last few years. This woman stands for nothing and doesn’t represent her people.
I might have more faith in both the document and intent of the “Charter” to be signed by establishment influenced change.. What? if the Queen boldly took initiative with a handwritten LGBT inserted in to the document between the “in” and “gender” and initialed ER!
“We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in LGBT, gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”
Highly improbable, but I did say what if! it would be a first and would impact history, imagine the press reaction and the potential of a monarch who truly made an impact on discrimination once in her 61 year reign, one that the world and the commonwealth wouldn’t ever forget!
I suppose it’s better than nothing. The problem is it’s not just the UK or Canada that is part of the common wealth. And whether I like it or not with these other countries we cannot just change things over night.
I agree I would p[refer the Queen to actually verbally support me. But she probably advisers who advise her othewise
A bit of an edit on my last statement!
The Queen ISN’T just the monarch of this country is she. And this is a statement for all commonwealth countries, not just ours. We cannot interfere in their politics. All we can do is inform them of our disproval and the Queen has to be apolitical. What her opinions about the LGBT community isn’t allowd to be voiced and whether we like it or not, we are seen as political :( I mean when did you last hear her state that sexism was wrong or racism or discrimination towards the disabled. IF she has it’s the written words of the government at the opening of parliament. But you will never hear the Queen say it herself because she isn’t allowed!
I don’t think it’s a case of “she isn’t allowed” – ultimately she has the power to say anything and sack the entire government if she so wished – it is more a point that she chooses not to, and remain unbiased.
To anyone who has trouble grasping this: The Queen does not speak her opinion on any subject. She has been given a declaration by the Commonwealth whereby those nations resolve to end discrimination in all forms. She has for the first time decided to make the signing of the declaration public, thus raising the declaration’s profile and sending a signal that she supports this declaration more than any other in recent history. That is the closest she can come to making a statement of her own, and it speaks volumes if you actually listen and not instantly write it off as “not enough”.
excellent summary, sven.
I am saddened by her reaction, She does not respect LGBT people and therefor does not deserve our respect.
What is so hard that she cannot come out and make it clear that we are all equal.
The Commonwealth games are coming to Glasgow but with Homosexual acts are illegal in 41 of the 54 Commonwealth nations, and penalties include the death sentence in parts of Nigeria and Pakistan, 25 years in jail in Trinidad and Tobego, 20 years plus flogging in Malaysia and life imprisonment in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana. Is this somethng we really want to be part of. With only Only five Commonwealth countries recognise same-sex relationships: the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Is there really still a commonwealth.
I think itis time that made it clear that we are not 2nd class people and w will no longer accept our money going to support the commonwealth until we have the same equal rights in every part of the commonwealth.
As expected….bugger all.
Another ‘diplomatic’ nod to those homophobic states that we daren’t challenge.