Queen Elizabeth II Expected to Sign Charter to Support Rights for Gays, Women

Tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth II and all her corgis are expected to sign the 21st Century Commonwealth Magna Carta, which declares: "We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds." Apparently "other grounds" refers to sexual orientation, but specific reference to ‘gays and lesbians' was unfortunately omitted in deference to Commonwealth countries with anti-gay laws.

"This is the first time that the Queen has publicly acknowledged the importance of the six per cent of her subjects who are gay. Some of the worst persecution of gay people in the world takes place in Commonwealth countries as a result of the British Empire," said Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay and lesbian rights group Stonewall.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said that the Queen is endorsing a decision taken by the Commonwealth, and that she herself is apolitical on "matters of this sort." And same-sex relationships are recognised in only five of the Commonwealth's 54 nations: UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, and "homosexual acts" are still illegal in 41.

Because of this, some doubt her commitment to the cause. Relatedly/fabulously, it must be noted that the Queen Mother once famously (and allegedly) told her household staff (all "disputatious, confirmed bachelors" who I'm assuming looked/behaved exactly like Carson) one morning,"There is one queen in Britain today who has not had her breakfast." #snap #queens

However, a charter is just a charter, and royalty doesn't reign the way it used to. Perhaps more important to gay rights in the UK is the fact that Prime Minister David Cameron has backed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Britain, which could take effect in 2015.

Also interesting for equality, accession to the throne for the monarch of the United Kingdom would finally not be penis > vagina:

With the Duchess of Cambridge about five months' pregnant, the change in the law could have a crucial effect. At present, if, as is rumoured, the Duchess and Prince William have a daughter, but go on to have a son, the son would become King when William dies. However, under the law change, due to be approved in the next few months, the girl would become Monarch.

Good news for Kate Middleton's (maybe) (possibly) (who knows) baby girl.

[Daily Mail]