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Queen Elizabeth to sign historic equal rights charter supporting women, gays

Sunday, March 10, 2013

LONDON — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Monday will sign a charter calling for an end to discrimination across the 54 Commonwealth nations, according to a statement by Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth IIAP

In a ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day, the 86-year-old monarch will also give a speech endorsing the new agreement which states signatories oppose “all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds.”

The words “other grounds” are said to refer to sexual orientation, however specific references to gay people are not included to avoid antagonizing Commonwealth countries that retain laws against homosexuals, according to the Daily Mail.

Insiders said the decision to highlight the event is a “watershed” moment because it is the first time she has signaled her support for gay rights in her 61-year reign, the paper claimed.

The document includes affirmations on democracy, human rights, international peace and security as well as freedom of expression. It also contains a commitment to “gender equality” and “women’s empowerment”.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell praised the accord, despite there being no explicit provisions against the discrimination of homosexuals, reported AFP.

“By signing the new Commonwealth Charter, with its rejection of all discrimination, the Queen is implicitly endorsing gay human rights,” he said.

“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,” said Tatchell.

Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of the gay and lesbian rights group Stonewall UK, said, “This is the first time that the Queen has publicly acknowledged the importance of the six per cent of her subjects who are gay.”

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26 more reader comments:

  1. Trans too?

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:10pm
  2. well, she is a “queen” herself. No disrespect, and I’m sure she’s got a great sense of humor. She laughed after it was brought to her attention she and Gerald Ford shared a dance to the song “The Lady is a Tramp.”

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:12pm
  3. Way to go!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:14pm
  4. Only a cruel queen would deny other queens equal rights! This queen is not evil.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:16pm
  5. Lol James

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:25pm
  6. But honestly, though a nice step forward, this “other ground” generality is NOT enough.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:28pm
  7. What does the Church of England say now?

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:30pm
  8. Except it doesn’t explicitly mention Lgbt people or rights at all

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:31pm
  9. This has been a long time coming but hay its here now lets be HAPPY :)

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:31pm
  10. I sure wish LGBT media & activists would stop cherry picking reality (it’s bad enough when you cherry pick history and the book of genocide). In order to NOT piss off the countries illegally invaded by the UK where the UK left gay bashing laws, The QUEEN will NOT say she is for LGBT equality – that is the REALITY NEWS

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:35pm
  11. Good for her.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:48pm
  12. u go girl

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 12:51pm
  13. I hope you all realize that she’s not signing it because she wants to. She’s signing it because she has been advised to. Monarchs no longer have the power to decide for themselves.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:01pm
  14. u go me queenie

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:06pm
  15. a step but, were just others in her speech no mention of lgbt

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:12pm
  16. Oooolala….maybe she wears a pink costume & hat!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:35pm
  17. God Save the Queen!!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:45pm
  18. And they think the British are kinda stuffy? Good for the Queen!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 1:54pm
  19. Lgbt people are not included by name but covered under other.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:17pm
  20. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2290824/Queen-fights-gay-rights-Monarch-makes-historic-pledge-discrimination-hints-Kate-DOES-girl-means-equal-rights-throne.html
    ‘We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.’
    The ‘other grounds’ is intended to refer to sexuality – but specific reference to ‘gays and lesbians’ was omitted in deference to Commonwealth countries with draconian anti-gay laws.”

    Those DRACONIAN ANTI-GAY LAWS were left behind by the British invaders in those “commonwealth” countries & the queen does not want to piss off the countries the UK invaded

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:23pm
  21. thank you!!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:34pm
  22. All my respect and love for HM Queen Elizabeth II of England. This may not be the 360 degree change, it definitely cannot happen that way because it is politics, but it is definitely a huge step to promote and protect human rights, remember it is not only addressing LGTB but other groups that need and deserve to be protected in the UK and the Commonwealth Realms. I just hope America learns from this!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:44pm
  23. Can we please go back to the United Kingdom? We would get a true democracy with true equality!

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3:02pm
  24. Should make it illegal to discriminate.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3:19pm
  25. Her Majesty has done very well.

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 4:50pm
  26. God save our gracious Queen :)

    Posted on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8:41pm