She should consider a real 21st Century Commonwealth Magna Carta
By Cathy Kristofferson, March 09, 2013.
March 10 update: No history will be made. The Queen will not attend the ceremony. The Palace released the following: ‘The Queen will regrettably no longer attend the Commonwealth Observance at Westminster Abbey today as she continues to recover following her recent illness.‘
The internet is abuzz with news that Queen Elizabeth will make an historic reference to promoting gay rights when she signs a new Commonwealth Charter tomorrow.
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.
Okay, so you will need your decoder ring because somehow ‘other grounds’ = ‘gay rights’. To me, ‘other grounds’ could mean anything. It is complete conjecture that it means ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ as gay rights have come to mean these days. And it will surely mean something else to all those fighting the tide of equality worldwide, especially in those Commonwealth countries with those draconian laws!
I think all the hoopla is a bit premature. But if this proves true tomorrow when it actually happens then giving the Queen accolades for including gays as ‘others’ is a bit ridiculous and certainly unworthy.
And then explaining the “specific reference to ‘gays and lesbians’ was omitted in deference to Commonwealth countries with draconian anti-gay laws” only adds insult to injury.
41 of the 54 Commonwealth countries outlaw homosexuality thanks to left over British colonial penal codes and WHAT a great opportunity this could have been to suggest that they should be repealed now! Much better to have said “Let’s get rid of those death sentences, life imprisonments, floggings, etc. and welcome all of the Commonwealth nations to the 21st Century.”