Queen signs equal rights Commonwealth Charter

Published On March 11, 2013 | By | News
Queen Elizabeth II will signing a new Commonwealth Charter today which is expected to carry a section calling on the recognition of gay rights in the Commonwealth. CREATIVE COMMONS COURTESY NASA

Queen Elizabeth II will be signing a new Commonwealth Charter today which calls for equal rights for all. Some media has reported this as being a call for equal rights for LGBT persons. CREATIVE COMMONS COURTESY NASA

By Graeme McNaughton

Queen Elizabeth II is marking Commonwealth Day by signing a new Commonwealth Charter which calls for equal rights for all, which some media is reporting as being a call for equal rights for the LGBT community.

According to the Daily Mail, the Charter will contain a provision which reads “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”

The Daily Mail, along with other media outlets, is reporting the “other grounds” facet is meant to indicate equal rights for LGBT persons.

This comes one month after the British parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill legally recognizing same-sex unions. The Independent reported the bill was passed 400 votes to 175, with a majority of Prime Minister David Cameron’s party voting against it.

“Our shared values of peace, democracy, development, justice and human rights, which are found in our new Commonwealth Charter, mean that we can place special emphasis on including everyone in this goal, especially those who are vulnerable,” said the Queen in her recorded Commonwealth Day address.

The Commonwealth of Nations is saying the media is reading too much into the wording.

“The notion that the Queen has pledged to promote gay rights is an interpretation that certain publications who have reported this have formed on their own,” Richard Uku, the official spokesperson for the Commonwealth of Nations, told Humber News. “The Queen, as in all matters, is apolitical on matters of policy.”

Homosexuality is currently an illegal act in the majority of Commonwealth nations, with only Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa legally recognizing same-sex unions. Other countries, such as India and Vanuatu, deem homosexuality to be legal but do not allow same-sex unions.

The legal status of homosexuality in Commonwealth Nations. Click for larger image. MAP TEMPLATE CREATIVE COMMONS COURTESY WIKIMEDIA

The legal status of homosexuality in Commonwealth Nations. Click for larger image. MAP TEMPLATE CREATIVE COMMONS COURTESY WIKIMEDIA

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