In England, it’s not over until the Queen says so. And now the battle for marriage equality in England and Wales is over, because the queen has given her royal assent to the marriage equality law finalized by Parliament this week. The royal approval is considered a formality, given the figurehead nature of the queen, but it’s important symbolic recognition of the achievement. Same-sex marriages will be officially recognized starting next summer.
In the meantime, it’s worth noting how smoothly marriage equality went in England compared to allegedly more sophisticated France. More than 400,000 people turned out in Paris to rally against marriage equality there, in what turned out to be a violent protest. While there has been grousing from the right wing in England, there has been nothing like the naked (or occasionally swim-suited) animosity to marriage equality that has characterized the French response. Of course, France has a more traditional streak, informed by conservative Catholicism, so perhaps the reaction isn’t surprising. That doesn’t make it any less disappointing, though.
I think the Royal family walk a very tight line when it comes to anything that is political or a hot potato as the whole gay marriage subject is, they have to be seen to remain neutral and however much this may infuriate certain sections of our society at any given time they (the Royals and in particular Her Majesty the Queen) cannot be seen to lean in any particular direction and must merely support her democratically elected governments policies and decisions some of which she may or may not agree with.
How Her Majesty the Queen feels about gay marriage is I feel sure more likely to be influenced by a generation model rather than “what’s trending”, frankly I doubt she gives it much thought and is far too busy with other matters of state and personal matters such as her frail and ageing husband, the birth of the future King or Queen (her Great Grandchild) and much like any other human being lets much of what goes on around her in the modern world pass her by.I shouldn’t think she cares either way if gay people marry or not and even as head of the Church Of England,it’s just not on her list.
The Royals have an unenviable position, so privileged in many ways yet watched and monitored at every turn..they, like all figureheads are the servants really, servants of the state and the people, their people and you won’t find a greater and more dedicated servant of the people than Elizabeth the II who at 87 does a sterling job..I am damn certain there aren’t too many 87 year olds that could manage her timetable or do her hours..the standing still alone for hour after hour is at that age a considerable feat.
Gay Marriage like many “bills” before have passed though the commons and the Lords and Her Majesty signs these bills as a mere formality. To expect her to actively campaign on behalf of any section of her people is ludicrous, she is a Monarch not a politician.
@jar: Well that’s because you live in a republic state and not a Sovereign state..even though technically we have Government which is a democratically elected party..The Monarch acts as a figurehead and does the final signing off of her governments policies..equally whilst we are her subjects we do not feel under a monarchistic thumb..(Not entirely sure Monarchistic is a real word)..We don’t spend every waking hour tugging our forelocks and doffing our caps..we have respect (well most do) and as such the Queen is much loved here and throughout the world.
To really understand it, the concept and living with/under a Monarch in a sovereign state you have to live in one I guess..That said a republic is totally alien to many here..you have new leaders what every 10 to 12 years provided they win the election..The queen has reigned for well over 60 years, she is a constant in an ever changing political landscape..