Peter Tatchell suggests Queen is ‘disrespectful’ for double standards, in PinkNews article. Does he have a point?
High profile, human rights activist Peter Tatchell has publicly criticised the British Queen for her on-going silence and lack of acknowledgement of the LGBT Community in the United Kingdom, stating that the monarchy is homophobic – ‘if not by conscious intent, then certainly by default.’
In an article published by PinkNews, Tatchell responds to the news that the Queen is to sign a Commonwealth charter today (11th March 2013) that rejects all discrimination, Tatchell highlights the fact that the Queen has failed to mention the words: Gay or Lesbian once in her entire 61 year reign. The Commonwealth Charter does not include any specific mention of gays or lesbians.
“We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”
However, the Daily Mail noted that a diplomat source had said, “The impact of this statement on gay and women’s rights should not be underestimated. Nothing this progressive has ever been approved by the United Nations. And it is most unusual for the Queen to request to sign documents in public, never mind call the cameras in.”
More than 40 of the Commonwealth’s nations criminalise homosexuality with punishments ranging from public floggings to the death sentence.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 countries that support each other and work together towards shared goals in democracy and development.
In the article Tatchell suggests that the Queen is not gay friendly saying,
“While I doubt that Elizabeth II is a raging homophobe, she certainly doesn’t appear to be gay-friendly. Not once during her reign has she publicly acknowledged the existence of the LGBT community. While she has spoken approvingly of the UK’s many races and faiths, for six decades she has ignored LGBT Britons. If she treated black and Asian Britons in the same way, she’d be denounced as a racist. Why the double standards?”
The gay rights activist contacted the Queen’s press office to ask whether the Queen had ever said the words “gay” or “lesbian” but the office did not respond to his requests. He also noted that the Queen had never visited a gay charity, or welfare agency, was not a patron of any gay charities and failed to acknowledge the LGBT community in any public statement in her entire 61 year ruling.
“As head of state, the Queen is supposed to represent and embrace all British people, not just some. How much longer will the LGBT community have to wait for royal recognition and acceptance?”
What do you think?