Another major public figure has joined the fight for gay rights. As reported by the Daily Mail on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth will sign a new charter designed to stamp out discrimination against homosexual people and promote "empowerment" of women. This is historic news for her country and the world as this will be the first time the Queen has clearly signaled her support for gay rights in her 61-year reign.
This will also be Queen Elizabeth's first public appearance since being hospitalized with a stomach virus. During her live televised broadcast on Sunday, she will also be making a public speech highlighting the passion behind the commitment she is making to equal rights.
The charter declares: "We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds".
The wording of "other grounds" is used to cover sexuality as "gays and lesbians" were taken out because there are Commonwealth countries currently with anti-gay laws which is why this declaration by the queen has been deemed a "watershed moment".
Sources say the Queen is fully aware of how the charter and her commitment will be perceived but also recognizes that this does not recognize the Queen's personal opinion. The Daily Mail has cited a Buckingham Palace spokesman as saying: "In this charter, the Queen is endorsing a decision taken by the Commonwealth. The Queen does not take a personal view on these issues. The Queen's position is apolitical, as it is on all matters of the sort."
In any event, when she signs the document at London's Marlborough House on Sunday, it will be a clear indication that she does support new laws designed to give equal rights to boys and girls.
Currently same-sex relationships are only recognized in five Commonwealth countries. Those countries include UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa and homosexual acts are illegal in 41 of the 54 nations that make up the Commonwealth. With the severity and harsh criminal punishment in some of these countries, gay activists have been critical of the Queen's noninvolvement and previous silence on these issues.
It will be interesting to see how her speech and commitment will be received in the LGBT community.