Queen Elizabeth excludes gays, trans from “non-discrimination” charter

There have been a number of breathless articles about how the Queen of England today “embraced” gay rights.

Don’t believe it.

Queen Elizabeth’s “embrace” is allegedly buried in a document she signed, affirming her opposition to discrimination based on “gender, race, color, creed, political beliefs” and “other” in the Commonwealth.

Holy royal closet, Batman

Yes, gay and trans people are supposed to be thrilled that the Queen might, or might not, have meant to closetedly include us in her use of the term “other.”


In 2013, I’m supposed to laud someone who doesn’t even have the moral and ethical fortitude to call me anything other than “other”?  Did Lincoln free the “others”?

I’m supposed to genuflect because the Queen was too embarrassed to mention the g-word and the t-word?  What is this, the 1980s?  What is she, Ronald Reagan being afraid to mention the word “AIDS”?

Oh but it gets worse

The British press explains that the document the Queen signed specifically omitted references to “gays,” and one presumes transgendered people, “in deference to Commonwealth countries with draconian anti-gay laws.”

The charter, dubbed a ‘21st Century Commonwealth Magna Carta’ declares: ‘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. Sources close to the Royal Household said she is aware of the implications of the charter’s implicit support of gay rights and commitment to gender equality. [emphasis added]

So just in case that wasn’t clear to you – Queen Elizabeth won’t be mentioning gays or trans people in her anti-discrimination statement, lest she offend countries that discriminate.

Yes, God forbid the Queen be asked to take a stand against “corrective rape.”

You’re not a human rights advocate when you only advocate for people who already have rights

If the Queen is only willing to take on discrimination that everyone already agrees is bad, then she’s saying that she’s only willing to help when help is no longer needed.  What’s next?  Will the Queen be setting the Colonies free?

Not waving, but drowning. (Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)

Not waving, but drowning. (Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)

You’re not a human rights advocate when you only advocate for people who already have rights.  The whole point of civil and human rights is advocating for people who are lacking those rights, who are hated, who are despised, who are unpopular.

If anything, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is setting back the cause of gay and trans people in the Commonwealth by her intentional omission of our existence, while listing in detail other specific groups who should not be discriminated against.

It’s just as fair an interpretation of this document to suggest that the Queen intended that discrimination against gay and trans people be welcome in the Commonwealth by her direct omission of any mention of us.

The bottom line is that Queen Elizabeth is pandering to discrimination in a document opposing discrimination. That’s hardly leadership, royal or otherwise.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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