Sunday, 3 June 2012

HAS QUEEN ELIZABETH II "TURNED HER BACK" ON THE GAY COMMUNITY?




As Britain celebrates the Jubilee anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, British LGBT activist and OutRage! founder Peter Tatchell takes the queen to task for her silence on gay issues, in an op-ed in The Guardian:

Queen Elizabeth II (Wikipedia)
While I doubt that Elizabeth II is a raging homophobe, she certainly doesn’t appear to gay-friendly. Not once in her 60-year reign has she publicly acknowledged the existence of the LGBT community—or gay members of her own royal family. The Queen has turned her back on queens.

"While she has spoken approvingly of the UK’s many races and faiths, for six decades she has ignored LGBT Britons. Judging from her silence, it seems that we are the unspeakable ones – the people she cannot bare to acknowledge or mention in public. Why the double standards?

"Regardless of whether these omissions are a reflection of the Queen’s personal views or the result of advice from her courtiers, as monarch she bears ultimate responsibility. Her silence sends a signal of exclusion and disrespect.

"Astonishingly, since she became Queen in 1952, the words “gay” and “lesbian” have never publicly passed her lips. There is no record of her ever speaking them. Even when she announced government plans for gay law reform in her Queen’s speeches, she did not use the words lesbian or gay. Apparently, mentioning LGBT people is beneath the dignity of the monarch.

"The Queen visits many charities and welfare organisations. But never in 60 years has she visited a gay charity or welfare agency. She has, for example, ignored deserving gay charities like the Albert Kennedy Trust and Stonewall Housing, which support homeless LGBT youth. Although she is a patron of many good causes, none of them are gay or serve the gay community…

Peter Tatchell (Wikipedia)
"When there are major tragedies involving the loss of life, the Queen often visits the site and the victims in hospital. This did not happen when neo-Nazi David Copeland bombed the Admiral Duncan gay pub in Soho, London, in 1999, killing three people and wounding 70 others. At the time, it was the worst terrorist outrage in mainland Britain for many years. To most people’s surprise, the Queen did not visit the bombed-out pub or the hospitalised victims….

"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?"

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