Current Affairs

Sir Elton John insists Queen can wipe out anti-gay Commonwealth laws with ‘one wave of her hand’

Joe Williams November 5, 2015
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The music legend promised petition the Queen to ‘change’ anti-gay laws in Commonwealth countries.

Elton John has insisted that Britain could use its influence to “push a little bit harder” for LGBT rights in anti-gay Commonwealth countries.

The singer – who was being interviewed alongside his husband David Furnish – said that Queen Elizabeth could easily change homophobic laws in places such as Kenya and India.

Sir Elton John insists Queen can wipe out anti-gay Commonwealth laws with ‘one wave of her hand’

“These laws come from the Commonwealth,” he told CNBC.

“These laws can be changed very easily by the Queen saying, ‘change the law’. I haven’t approached her about that yet.”

Sir Elton went on to say he would approach the monarch if conditions did not improve in the Commonwealth – as he believes she could wipe out such laws with “one wave of her hand.”

“These are old laws from the British Commonwealth, I mean these can be changed. And so the Queen could do that with one wave of her hand,” he said.

However, Sir Elton may be disappointed to find out that this is not actually the case.

The Queen has no constitutional powers to force any member of the Commonwealth – or indeed any member of the Commonwealth Realms where she is head of state – to change its laws.

Even so, The Kaleidoscope Trust have welcomed the star’s comments surrounding the issue.

“Along with Sir Elton, we also believe that a strategic and sustained approach toward the Commonwealth is necessary in order for lasting change to occur in countries where Britain’s colonial legacy has a deleterious impact on LGBT people,” they told PinkNews.

John also expressed his delight at being asked to travel to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin to discuss LGBT rights in the country – opting against a phone call after a very public prank earlier this year.

Sir Elton John insists Queen can wipe out anti-gay Commonwealth laws with ‘one wave of her hand’

“I feel very honoured that he wants to see me and he’s put the olive branch out and it’s essential that I do go over there and just put my foot in the water and see what we can do (to) change the situation for LGBT people in Russia,” he said.

“Even though the Russians say it’s great – it’s not great at all.

“But you know, as I said, I want to try and knock the wall down a little bit, so I will be trying to go and see him.”

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has recently teamed up with a US government scheme to fund a push to help LGBT people with HIV/AIDS.

Speaking at the US Ambassador’s London residence last night, Sir Elton announced the joint partnership, which will provide grants to local groups aiming to improve access to HIV services.

Related topics: anti-gay laws, commonwealth, Elton John, Queen Elizabeth II, Russia, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Vladmir Putin

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