Peter Tatchell: Queen Elizabeth “Has Turned Her Back” On The Gay Community

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…

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?

British LGBT activist and OutRage! founder
Peter Tatchell, taking Elizabeth II to task for her silence on gay issues, in an op-ed in The Guardian

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  • Stefan

    Gay members of her own royal family?

  • Rebecca Juro

    The Queen is not the real head of state in the UK, that’s the Prime Minister. She’s basically a ceremonial national figurehead at this point. While that doesn’t excuse her ignoring LGBT people, let’s not give her more power and authority than she actually has.

  • ChrisC

    Peter Tatchell is an anti-monarchist and this is clearly just another example of him once again taking advantage of The Gay Rights Movement to further his own personal agenda.

    Royal Protocol dictates that it is best for Her Majesty to remain a neutral figure in British and Commonwealth life, so the people – all of them, can have a symbol of their nation that everyone can hold on to. Her job is to keep peace, stability and unity. Doing or saying anything that shows the slightest of opinion about anything is discouraged. So obviously controversial issues such as LGBT Rights, would most definitely be out of the question.

    While yes it’s sad that our rights are controversial, this is the case, and until it isn’t such, she must remain silent on it. She has never even given an interview for gods sake! Nor even allowed to comment on the economy.

    The Queen Mother was famously Gay Friendly and I imagine Her Majesty is as well.

  • Joe

    The queen is not a “ceremonial head of state” she is the actual head of state. The prime minister is head of GOVERNMENT. If that does not make sense to you then you have a basic misunderstanding of UK government.

    To echo Chris C’s comment, this Peter fellow clearly has an axe to grind with the monarchy – just like our non sexual friend Morrissey. The Queens job is to remain absolutely apolitical, and sadly at this point means that she stays away from anything gay.

    To say she is anti gay just because she hasnt gotten on a soap box about gay rights is ridiculous. She has met EVERYONE, and she represents all of her subjects regardless of their orientation.

  • 1equalityUSA

    I do not recognized nor accept the notion of royalty. Bloodlines mean nothing to me. Feigned royalty is concocted by humans and insulting. Many Americans are free of these spurious titles and false caste systems. We are free thinkers and progressive idea champions. Our system gives hope to all, which then brings out the best in every culture. The bee hive hierarchy does not work in our Country, which rewards ideas and relishes freedom of expression. The United States of America is successful because all people come together, under one Nation, and bring their best capacity with them. Concepts bounce back and forth between different cultures and the result is fresh, practical, new ideas. The Queen of England is entitled to her opinions, or lack thereof, but it has zero impact on this Northern American.

  • Well

    “She cannot BARE to acknowledge” – Please not, at her age she should certainly not bare any part of her anatomy not currently revealed by her matronly modest dresses. :)

  • Sohobod

    What a self-serving cliche Peter Tatchell is! Luckily, most gay people in the UK don’t agree with him in his snide opinions about someone who has done more good for the UK that he could manage in 1000 lifetimes! The London gay bars are a positive fire-hazard, given the amount of red white and blue bunting festooned over them.

  • freddie

    Peter Tatchell, as well as being a great human rights campaigner, is also an ardent leftist and a member of the UK Green Party, the only republican party in the UK. Here these two interests are colliding and clearly he is using an absurd canard about Her Majesty to promote his republican beliefs.

    P.S. Went out to a London gay bar last night, covered in Union Jacks celebrating Her Maejesty’s jubilee.

  • Drew

    Tatchell is an idiot.

  • freddie

    @1equalityUSA: That was parody, right? You are kidding?

  • Frank

    I need no validation from QEII or any other royal…and quite honestly, whatever she may say about the GLBT community is totally irrelevant

  • Spike

    Isn’t she like 100 years old? She her opinion on the topic reflects her generation (ie the Fox News demographic), once they die off, the new royals will reflect support and a ‘why is this an issue’ much like their generation currently has.

  • Chris S.

    @Rebecca Juro: Ummm…no, she is the real head of state. The Prime Minister is the head of GOVERNMENT. You’re probably from America, where the roles of head of state and head of government are fused. And while most of the Crown’s efficient powers have been effectively handed over to the Cabinet, the monarch still has some potential role to play in the formation of the government in the case of a hung parliament.

  • Kev C

    Interesting, however irrelevant the Queen is. She’s just a fetish item for the superstitious, like a monkey’s claw or a shrunken head. A musty old handbag lady.

  • benjamin

    shes not allowed to be controversial but the royal family do acknowledge the lgbt community in a sense with the knighthoods of famous lgbt entertainers and the likes of prince harry somewhat supporting gay rights but it would be nice for recognition for the community as a whole but the main focus should be destoying the daily mail and others like them who seem to report the news with an anti gay agenda

  • Coop

    @1equalitlyUSA – God I hate when American’s comment on the Queen. We get it you left, big fight, you won. You are your own country now. No one want to hear your Royal bashing! I remind you it was the war of 1812 when you attacked Canada and Britain and Canada kick your butt to the curb! The Queen is part of that country and part of ours. Unlike your Presidents she minds her own business, does not start wars with countries just for gas. Worry about the problems in your own country first before you bash the Royals. As for this Doughe bag writer, clearly a one side bigot with a chip on his shoulder.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Coop, Fair enough. I hadn’t thought of that bag of dirt from Texas, Bush. What an embarrassment.

  • Thomathy

    Anti-monarchists are a dime a dozen these days -any day really. The Queen, indeed her Governor Generals (I’m Canadian), are supposed to remain apolitical. They’re not exactly forbidden, though, to say anything about controversial issues, so I can see some outrage directed at the apparent lack of notice or attention paid to the LGBTQ community over the years. Certainly her Governor Generals here haven’t remained silent, but then, this Dominion doesn’t consider LGBTQ issues to be controversial and isn’t having a debate about gay-marriage.

    I don’t think omission is exactly telling about an attitude. At best, we can say that we don’t know the Queen’s stance. I’ll remind Tatchell, however, that the Monarchy, when it comes to matters of supreme public importance, has interceded to make it’s opinion known in the past. I don’t suspect that we will hear nothing from the Monarchy on issues of importance to LGTBQ in the near future. It may well be telling that the Monarchy has kept mum on the matter of gay-marriage; it may be an indication that the politics are moving in the correct direction.

    (Also, Americans? The ignorant and stupid ones? Learn something about the other most common and successful governmental system employed in the world today before spouting off about the supposed greatness of your fundamentally flawed federal, constitutional republic. Upstarts.)

  • SteveC

    No. 5 · 1equalityUSA:

    But social mobility in the US is now lower than in Britain.

    Just because we don’t have royalty does not mean that life is better in the US

  • CPT_Doom

    Although it is clear that as nominal head of state for both England and Scotland, Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor cannot take political sides, acknowledging the existence of LGBT people, or visiting bombing victims in hospital, cannot be considered a political act. After all, her daughter-in-law visited and sponsored many different HIV/AIDS charities in the 1990s, and that was never considered outside her public role.

    Of course we must remember that Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor was born in the 1920s, at a time when even the clearly gay friend of her mother, Cosmo Lang former Archbishop of Canterbury, was lauding the heterosexual family as the foundation of England’s success. I highly doubt either she or her husband are comfortable around LGBT people, having known very few in their day, while the younger generations clearly are. The invitation of Elton John and his husband to the wedding of William and Catherine was, as I understand it, the very first “Royal” invitation to an openly gay couple, so there is some change happening.

  • Ted TampaBay

    Ok Mum. 60 years on the throne is quite enough. Let Charles have a run at it. You’re probably going to be like Victoria who held the crown in a death grip for even longer though she died at age 81. Poor Edward VII, he was already an old monarch when he ascended the throne after her death. Charles may wind up in the same situation, although the queen’s mum lived past 100 and QE2 may outlive him. (He does come from good breeding stock. P. Philip is 90, Liz is 86.) Hang in there Charlie!

  • Daniel

    I don’t disagree with this writer(Coop) except for his lapse about WAR. Seems he’s forgotten a silly little debacle over the Falkland Islands which killed thousands of people on both sides for no good reason not unlike our foray in to Iraq.

  • Ted TampaBay

    There haven’t been any REAL British monarchs since the House of Stuart died out with the death of Queen Anne. (Although she was pumping out children like the Queen Alien, none of them lived to be of majority.) They had to look to Europe…it hasn’t been the same ever since.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Thomathy, I did not have politics in mind, but rather what freedom of thought has brought to the world by way of inventions, art, and ideas that flourished with a mix of cultures all bouncing off of one another. Steve Jobs (computer technology), Elisha Otis (elevators), Telephones, televisions, cars and calculators, medical inventions such as defibrillators and heart bypasses, nanolasers, microwaves, and pharmaceuticals that have benefitted the entire world, space technology, all of the ideas that people merged into fantastic ideas were a product of this experiment. We are a very young Country, a toddler by comparison, but freedom of ideas explodes and human nature cannot help but have these ideas be put to practical use. This experiment brought people from all over the world into one place. Change is bound to take place when so many cultures are brought together. That is the experiment I was speaking of. Will we make mistakes? Yes. Will we allow bad politicians to steal the election from another and nearly ruin ourselves and others, apparently, but the explosion of ideas still pushes on and it is this freedom that allows inventions to come into being. I apologize for offending our neighbors to the North and those across the pond. We have more in common than not.

  • Sohobod

    The Queen may not have visited the Admiral Duncan pub in 1999, after the bombing, but Prince Charles did. And that must have been sanctioned by the royal household.
    As someone said, although she may not have spoken about LGBT issues, many gay people have been honored for their charity and campaining work. I remember seeing on Queerty last year an article about the founder of a gay football team – and charity worker – who received an OBE for his work with gay youth.
    Peter Tatchell is a republican – he is never going to write anything positive about the monarchy, no matter what they do.
    A poll out this week showed that 80% of the population want to retain the institution. Nuf said.

  • TomMc

    For some reason I remember a Christmas address wherein she mentioned diversity, including that of sexual orientation.

    Whatever the case, Tatchell’s comments are poorly placed. It’d the jubilee celebration long weekend and though many don’t like monarchy, most do like the current regent.

    Tatchell’s public rudeness at this time has, this time, done all LGBT people a disservice. (He has said some relevant things over the years though, and has spoken up on issues – e.g. HIV/AIDS – when others have remained silent.)

    Hope everyone in England enjoys their holiday long weekend, Tatchell included.

  • Thomathy

    1equalityUSA , the ahistorical idea of America as an enabler of invention/discovery is quite quaint as a folk tale, but doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny. It’s hardly the only country on Earth to have facilitated great minds and the fruits of their labour.

    There’s a reason incredibly bright foreigners ended up in the United States, and to suggest that their ingenuity is a result of some mythical experiment at a mixing of cultures would be disingenuous if you weren’t just ignorant and insults the accomplishments of individuals by appropriating them as the accomplishments of a post hoc nationalist rhetoric. And never mind the fact that some of the great inventions you name weren’t even invented by Americans or even first invented in America (a point that is hardly salient considering the overbearing wrongness of your propagandist folk history).

    I don’t know how you came to believe in that particular fantasy, but it’s wrong and it certainly is political. The United States is considerably older than Canada, nearly a quarter of a thousand years old, and it’s not even the first to ‘experiment’ with integrating myriad cultures into one nation and it certainly isn’t a country that owns a unique brand of freedom, except in a very Orwellian sense. You can’t blame the current state of political affairs in the States on the relative youth of America as a nation. You have probably not missed the fact that the USA created a progressive and forward-thinking, precedent setting document in its Constitution, and I expect that you are aware of the strong evangelical streak of a sizable plurality of your fellow citizens. These things are not independent of history or present context. The ‘youth’ of the States as a nation has nothing to do with the bigoted, retrograde ideologies of some contemporary Americans and most American politicians. It just doesn’t factor.

    But never mind that as I was referring to your governmental system, without your particular post in mind, which, in my opinion, is fundamentally flawed. I hold as evidence to that the current state of political affairs in the States. It’s amusing that one of the criticisms levelled at constitutional monarchies employing a parliamentary system is the amount of power that the Prime Minister’s Office has even in a minority, when it’s apparent that the distribution of power in a ‘balanced’ federal republic skews power overwhelmingly, time and again, toward a tyranny-of-the-majority making impotent or slow (to the point of ineffectiveness) both the judiciary and the head-of-state, making it apparent that what the Constitution has to say about that be damned.

    Honestly, I didn’t intend to get into any kind of argument on this matter, but rather to redress ignorance and I wasn’t even speaking directly to your post in my previous post. I just hope I haven’t wasted the ten minutes it took to write this just to read a response from you indicating that this has completely gone over your head.

    The tl;dr version of what I’ve written is this: I wasn’t referring to your post in mine, but since you responded, your history is wrong and stinks of nationalistic folk myth.

  • WillBFair

    Tatchell can’t help showing a typically British subserviance. How long do we have to wait for the Queen’s acceptance? Who cares.
    Someone who lives like a Queen, hoarding piles of cash and jewelery, and who does zip for the oppressed and the environment, that someone is not a decent person in my book. She can save her acceptance for the sycophants who need it.

  • Thomathy

    WillBFair, ‘typically British subserviance’ is not in evidence, so cite some or drop your giant paintbrush. Even if I don’t agree with Tatchell, the Queen is the head-of-state of the UK. The monarchy doesn’t just represent the UK either, it represents the entire Commonwealth. 53 nations. That Queen, who you, also in the absence of evidence, think does nothing for the oppressed or the environment (Really, the environment? Her son is a damned quack full of woo about organic farming), is also the head-of-state of 16 countries.

    It’s just plain wrong to say that it’s subservience to expect the Queen’s position to be known and to expect her public support. The Monarchy is a key institution of the constitutional monarchy and as head-of-state must meet the expectations of the people, particularly hard-done-by minorities, in all matters including social justice.

    I use the word expect deliberately. Tatchell isn’t talking about acceptance, he’s talking about recognition and it’s been pointed out that he’s talking from is ass.

  • Scott Mellon

    @1equalityUSA: @1equalityUSA:
    Of course Americans don’t honour bloodlines. This is not news. But in that case, why waste the electrons commenting?

  • 1equalityUSA

    Thomathy, From my own family and the businesses, inventions, and farming techniques that came from mixing up cultures brought about abundance, has me disagreeing with you. One huge example is how the Blues, a home grown treasure, influenced the world of music with such impact that rock and rollers from Janis Joplin to Grateful Dead and England’s Led Zepplin to Rolling Stones often cite the Blues as a heavy early influence. I’ve seen the influence that many cultures have had on my own family and in my own City. Fusion happens and it’s a good thing. Go ahead and repeat how stupid you think I am, but I disagree with you. The fusion of cultures brings about fresh, new, practical ideas.

  • Kev C

    @Thomathy: “think does nothing for the oppressed or the environment”

    She supports the environment because she’s the world’s biggest landlord. As a result, she is loathed by indigenous canadians and australians.

  • Who actually likes coffee?

    @1equalityUSA: And what exactly does this have to do again with the original point that somehow a monarchy would be inherently unfavourable to equality for all, including the LGBT community? Just wondering, from my tiny KINGdom of the Netherlands…

  • Cam

    @ChrisC: said…

    “So obviously controversial issues such as LGBT Rights, would most definitely be out of the question.”

    Yes, it is SO controversial that people should have rights.

    Your comment is ridiculous considering that gays serve in the Royal military and civil marriages are legal in the UK

  • 1equalityUSA

    Who actually likes coffee?–When people are diminished, not even spoken of, it is shutting the door on potential. Caste systems limit the potential and gifts that every person has to offer this world. A small example of this is my favorite blues singer/song writer Lightnin’ Sam Hopkins. He grew up in Cenrterville, Texas destined for a life of cotton fields. He chose another path and learned guitar by making his own from a cigar box and hanging with Blind Lemon Jefferson. He was prolific in his art and I’m so grateful he was born. Truly, no poker party would be the same without him. I adore his songs. This is a man who had no station in life, no education, no money, and he made a name for himself. My life is made richer for his having had the chance to flourish. I think limiting anyone’s potential is a grave mistake. As for the LGBT community, we have talented, creative, beautiful minds. We should be acknowledged for it, not relegated, by silence, into nothingness.

  • Triple S

    Meh. The Queens getting on now. And she doesn’t actually do much anyway! Don’t really care now :P

  • Who actually likes coffee?

    @1equalityUSA: And it has been acknowledged for it, in the UK, the US and also from my perspective in the Netherlands. Yes, maybe not as much as you and I would have liked (even though you have to admit knighting Sir Elton John was the gayest thing Liz could have done), but you do have to understand the very precarious position the Queen and all other constitutional monarchs are in.

    They have to function as independent heads of state, they are the embodiment of the State and as such cannot have opinions that differ from that of the State (represented by the Government). It is irrelevant if for instance the Queen of the Netherlands supports marriage equality in our country (which we have had since 2001): if the government does, she does.

    Of course, we -and they- all have personal and private opinions and it would naive to think that those do not have a little influence. However in the end, it’s the Government that dictates what the Queen says. Considering Section 28 was in place in the UK until the last Labour government, I’m not surprised that the Elizabeth hasn’t uttered any public opinions about LGBT rights thusfar.

    But times change, as do governments, as do the (public) opinions of Heads of State.

    As far as fusion goes, I like fusion food. Does that count?

  • 1equalityUSA

    Yes, Fusion is good. I learned a bit about the Queen’s role in social spheres. Didn’t mean to jump bad about U.S. We have huge flaws and talk about these flaws a great length in an effort to change. I’ve got to go paint some more before the sun sets. Have a good day to both of you.

  • Who actually likes coffee?

    @1equalityUSA: With the risk of enraging a moderator because of some slow-chat-ban: all the best of luck with your painting.

  • Andy

    Brits, please don’t think that everyone in the United States thinks of the US as some kind of magical special snowflake land that invented everything worth inventing. Good lord.

  • What the f**k

    @Drew: The last thing Peter Tatchell is idiotic.You should have some respect for someone who has fought long and hard for gay rights.Way back in the dark days of aids and before that in Britain he was one of the FEW fighting for our rights and has not slowed down or given up.He received some ,brain damage being beaten on a pride march in Russia ,was beaten severely by Robert mugabes men when he tried to citizens arrest him for the second time on the basis of torture charges and human rights violations. Taken on the church of England ,the catholic church …I could go on.You may not agree with everything he says but it’s churlish and ungrateful not to show the man RESPECT!

  • randy

    @Joe: It isn’t a political act to show up for a bombing victim’s funeral. She could certainly do that.

  • What the f**k

    @WillBFair:Excuse me?…he’s Australian ,and whilst being common wealth,they’re not exactly known for their subservient personalities and NEITHER are the British!,Bloody cheek!!

  • What the f**k

    @Sohobod: You don’t speak for most people and if the daily mail ,a truly homophobic paper,is printing stories with the headline”Is this the bravest man in Britain”…well…you definitely don’t speak for the majority… time has progressed Tatchell is respected ..even by those naturally opposed….of course there will always be w**kers!Why don’t you speak for yourself in future and ditch the blanket statements!

  • What the f**k

    @Who actually likes coffee?: I was once told a story by someone who worked in the palace about the queen mum who was renowned for her gay friendliness ,quite a party girl in her youth apparently,and when she fancied her favourite tipple she would say”I don’t know about you but this old queen would like a gin and tonic” doesn’t sound like the queen would be homophobic either considering how many of her staff are gay.But I do get Tatchells point..Seems to be quite a few British monarchist queens on here,and so they’re probably Tories and ya can’t trust ,them for sh*t!

  • RG

    @Rebecca Juro:

    Yes, by act of Parliment, Her Majesty is sovereign of Great Britain and its Commonwealth and Head of State with the right, never exercised, to veto legislation. The monarch is also Colonel-in-Chief of the armed forces. The Prime Minister is Head of Government and serves at Her Majesty’s pleasure. It is the Prime Minister who forms a government and fills the cabinet positions and proposes legislation in the monarch’s name for the good of the realm and commonwealth.

    The British system is very unlike the US system in which the President of the United States is both Head of State and Head of Government as well as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

  • Zain

    @ChrisC: Hear hear Chris. Very succinctly stated.

  • Wendy

    She doesn’t give a shit about us LGBT = so fuck that bitch, who gives a shit about her – we need to focus in fighting for our rights – not care about this old hag not caring for us. She is cold hearted and shady – let her eat cake…

  • J Stratford

    The only royal I want validation from is PRINCE HARRY!!!!!!!


  • CarnacTheMagnificent

    I liked the old bag better when she appeared in the Naked Gun movies …at least then she had a sense of humor!

  • jason

    The funny thing is that Buckingham Palace is populated with gay men. They do all the tasks straights won’t do.

  • hamoboy

    *sigh* Obviously writing some stupid misinformed piece about Queen Elizabeth II will invite all these Amurrcans to talk about things they know NOTHING about. The Queen and the rest of the Windsor family have even less free speech than the commoners who hold them in awe. Any opinions they express officially MUST be the opinions of the government, especially Liz because she’s the head of state. Until the british government comes to a consensus about marriage equality, the queen cannot say anything at all. Nothing. She has less free speech than the idiots commenting on this thread. Also, the british royal family are rich because they own so many assets. Prince Charles has actually gotten into quite a bit of trouble for his uneducated rantings about organic food and homeopathy (He went to Cambridge, but he read Geography or something. Was considered a “plodder” and didn’t finish if I recall) because unlike commoners he is far more liable for any public statements he makes.

  • White Homophobia

    We must do something about the rampant white homophobia around the world. Genocide if necessary.

  • Daez

    @hamoboy: They only “own” that property because they took it from others in the name of the country. Besides, they do not actually own it. It belongs to the country.

    I am a dedicated anti-monarch. I have no clue why someone should be put in any elevated status simply because of their origin of birth. That is like saying that George Bush should have been the life long president because his dad was president so apparently he comes from some elevated blood line.

    It is complete and utter crap. Sure, I may be an American that is uneducated about the ways of Britain. However, having just been to Europe, I can say I have a great deal more respect for the actual freedom in Germany than I do for England where everyone is expected to acknowledge the queen simply because of her birthright and is attacked if they do not.

    Officials should be elected by the will of the people not born in positions of power.

  • Cam

    @hamoboy: said…

    “Any opinions they express officially MUST be the opinions of the government, especially Liz because she’s the head of state”

    And is it the opinion of the UK govt. that gays do not exist? No, it isn’t. So nice try.

  • robert in nyc

    Whether one agrees with monarchies or not, trashing and bad-mouthing another culture’s traditions,history and shortcomings only enforce anti-American sentiment around the world. We may not have monarchy in the U.S. but anyone with a degree of intelligence should know that we’re not equal and we most certainly do have a class system which we refuse to admit. There is NO classless society, not even in the days of communist Russia did it exist and it doesn’t exist in present day China or Cuba. They all have their hierarchies and elitism. Nobody knows for sure what the Queen thinks about LGBT people, it’s all supposition. Just because she hasn’t expressed any personal feelings about us doesn’t mean she’s homophobia. She’s never expressed anything in regard to abortion or womens’ rights, does that mean she’s against either? Of course not.

    I admire and respect Peter Tatchell, but really, with all the problems going on around the world, if I were him, I’d be more concerned about full equality for LGBT people in the UK considering that the equal civil marriage debate is currently underway and likely to be introduced which will be finalized with the Queen’s royal assent. It’s immaterial if she agrees or disagrees with LGBT people let alone utters the word ‘gay’. My personal view is, I doubt very much if she is homophobic.

  • Cam

    @robert in nyc: said…

    “Whether one agrees with monarchies or not, trashing and bad-mouthing another culture’s traditions,history and shortcomings only enforce anti-American sentiment around the world”

    Gee, so I guess we should never have spoken out against Aparteid in South Africa, or the fact that women in multiple countries are treated like slaves and sold into marriage as young as 7 years old, or that gays are murdered in multiple countries etc…

    Yes, by all means, how awful to say that we disagree with something. (Eye Roll)

  • hamoboy

    @Cam:Has Liz said “The gays do not exist.”? This family (those in the main line at least) can’t even MARRY without the government vetting and approving their potential spouses. The monarchy (and the government) can be criticized for a lack of firm support, but surely cannot be criticized for OPPOSING LGBT rights?

  • hamoboy

    @Daez: If you think the rich families in the US aren’t “born into positions or power” you’re fucking high. Social mobility is like the lottery in the US, a few lucky schmucks win it, giving every other Joe Average the hope that one day, they can too. In reality thanks to the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and the increase in student loan debt, social mobility is actually LOWER in the US than in the UK. So the Windsors have some jewels and castles and instant PR to go with the money, so what? In real terms, the royal family has nearly NO say in how the UK operates, they’re just there to smile and wave while they snack on caviar.


    oh gawd, this is all so fucking embarrassing to me as a brit — all the fawning and forelock-tugging, witnessing otherwise hardened journalists toadying up to their “betters” while employing phrases such as, “her MAJESTY”, “her royal HIGHNESS” in the most cloying obsequious tones.

    vomit inducing. very.

    here be some batshitcrazy atavistic voodoo, ably assisted by the most advanced media manipulation techniques known to the modern p.r. industry.

    and yet there does seem to be a real appetite for this crap (or, as likely, just an excuse for a booze up.)

    so, really i say: whatevs, let the stupid people have their bread and circuses; and i feel much the same about conspicuous u.s.a patriotism, to be honest. i guess i value subtlety more.

    all that being said, i don’t think a CONSTITUTIONAL hereditary monarchy is all that different in practical terms than, say, the “brahman caste” of plutocrats or their mouthpieces who get to lord it over the polis which is the reality for most people in republican systems. also, it’s worth remembering some of the most enlightened liberal democracies are constitutional monarchies, such as sweden, norway, denmark, netherlands.

    all the same — viva la revolution!

  • Scott Mellon

    Or to quote our old, dear Queen Mom to her courtiers, “I don’t know what you old queens are doing, but this old queen needs a drink”

  • robert in nyc

    @hamoboy: I agree, plus the monarchy is a big tourist attraction raking in millions of dollars in revenue. Another thing, the royals pay taxes too. It costs the British public a meager $1.53 per head to maintain the monarchy far less than what it generates in revenue.

    Cam…..criticizing the Queen as to whether she supports LGBT people or not has absolutely nothing to do with not criticizing oppressive governments, two entirely unrelated issues and totally out of context. Roll your eyes all you want. The Queen, if she were homophobic, could refuse royal assent once equal marriage passes, but she won’t, just as she didn’t when civil partnerships were enacted. I’d rather have her than any state governor vetoing my rights away as we witnessed in New Jersey earlier this year.

  • LadyL

    @1equalityUSA: Nicely said, particularly comment #35: “As for the LGBT community, we have talented, creative, beautiful minds. We should be acknowledged for it, not relegated, by silence, into nothingness.” Beautifully said.
    As for Her Majesty, it would be wonderful if she did allow herself to be seen reaching out to British and Commonwealth LGBTQ communities, if only to give hope and comfort to some abused UK teen who is, at this very moment, contempleting suicide and by tomorrow may have gone through with it. And because (as she well knows) there is always a ripple effect–in lending her support to her own subjects she gives hope to people around the world. Unfortunately she is, as others here have pointed out, a product of her upbringing and times, and so are her (closeted) courtiers. One hopes Charles will be more proactive when he reigns; one expects William will be.

  • Kev C

    @LadyL: Male (and some female) homosexuality is illegal in 40 commonwealth countries. In 2 countries it’s questionably legal/illegal. In the other 12 countries it’s legal. In Samoa (commonwealth), although Samoans are not very homophobic, and homosexuality isn’t punished, it’s illegal. In American Samoa, it’s legal, with hate crime protection and military service.

  • Cam

    @robert in nyc: said..

    “It costs the British public a meager $1.53 per head to maintain the monarchy far less than what it generates in revenue.”

    That is a lie.

    1. There is no provable tracking of the supposed amount that the Royal family would add to tourism. Countries like France, without a royal family have a much higher tourist rate.

    2. The royal family have massive property holdings that provide them a huge amount of funds that would otherwise be bringing in money to the govt.

    Additionally, they weren’t taxed until recently and now only on a small percentage of the personal income of the queen.

  • Halston

    You mean we have been looking at her face all this time? I thought that was her back!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hamoboy

    @Kev C: Samoans are not very homophobic? Surely you must know what the first part of my name is a slang for, but anyway while samoans aren’t homophobic per se, they have very specific roles for homosexuals to play, fa’afafine (or fa’atama), which means being and acting like a woman (or man)(literally “in the way of a woman (or man)”). If you’re an effeminate gay man, masculine gay woman, or trans (some demographics that normally have a harder time of it in the West) you’re all set, but if you’re a feminine lesbian or a masculine gay man while you’ll have an easier time concealing yourself, you won’t get a lot of understanding from people like you would if you were more obviously gay. Funny thing is how fa’afafine have sex with “straight guys” lol… While I’m sure the occasional encounter is with a real heterosexual man, I’m sure most long term arrangements are between a masculine gay man posing as a straight man and a fa’afafine. I realize that the english/western terms we use should not be considered more valid than the samoan terms, but there’s more of them, and they’re more specific.

  • Kev C

    @hamoboy: Jews and muslims are hamophobic. The fafafini is fairly common phenomena, I’ve heard. And that the Catholic priesthood of Samoa is a very gay vocation.

  • hamoboy

    @Kev C: Hahahahahahahahaha… “Hamo” comes from the word “hamoan”, a slang term for samoan. If you ever lived in Samoa, instead of just “hearing” about it you’d know that. FA’AFAFINE are a common phenomenon, but even the fa’afafine association in Samoa avoid the term “homosexual” because Samoa is VERY homophobic, just not in the way Westerners would understand it. Drag pageants (like “Ms Tutti Frutti”) are a normal thing in Samoa, yet they banned the playing of “Milk” in the cinemas there. Don’t talk out your ass unless you’ve been on the ground and know what you’re talking about.

  • hamoboy

    Oh so now you want to lecture me about the Commonwealth of Nations? Anything else I need to be whitesplained about? It simply can’t ENFORCE human rights at all, it can just put up some token pressure, like the UN. For what it’s worth, I live in a former Commonwealth country myself, and all I recall about being part of the Commonwealth is some sports meets and some diplomatic meetings my country sent ambassadors to.
    The monarchy are heads of state on paper, their main significance is probably helping make it incredibly unlikely and commonwealth member would think of going to war with another, and that’s about it. It’s so large and so diverse that almost any issue you can think of would have members diametrically opposed to each other. Just like the UN.

  • w.e.

    Say what you will, in 60 years she could have uttered the words gay and lesbian, but hasn’t. There’s is something foul in the house of Windsor. From what I hear, however, the Queen’s mum was quite the character who loved her house gays – and had an affinity for the bottle. Too bad Liz didn’t take after her, instead of being a bit of an uptight bore.

  • Geri

    @Stefan: If not gay, there are almost certainly some bisexual members of her family.

    Her Majesty’s sister, Princess Margaret is rumoured to have been bisexual and so is her ex husband Lord Snowdon.

    There are also rumours that her son and heir, Prince Charles, is bisexual and her son Prince Andrew as well.

    In the case of Prince George of Kent, his bisexuality is pretty much indisputable.,_Duke_of_Kent

    But this is the thing about Royalty and the ruling classes in general, a bit of bisexuality and adultery are fine – it’s pretty much a case of “just try to keep it discreet and private please.” But being an out and out homosexual would not be considered fine I feel.

  • Wendy

    No more power to the queen, we are the real queens of the world – not her.

  • zachgriff11

    Well I don’t see what the fuss is all about, she is from a different time, think of her like a grandparent or great grandparent. Just because she’s never publicly stated her opinion on the matter doesn’t mean she doesn’t have one, she is the Queen she is supposed to be impartial to politics, she isn’t supposed to have an opinion, this article states she hasn’t done anything for the LGBT community or has said anything, but she hasn’t said anything bad or said no, after all she is the Queen of 16 countries and Canada happens to be one of them, a country where Gay Marriage is legal. God Save the Queen.

  • Peter Rock Favazza

    Oh just leave the old people alone to die peacefully you cant change a zebras stripes when they are pushing 90. She has had to live with that face for 86 years. Isn’t that pain enough for the poor old dear? Do we really want her to come out and say that most of her family and staff are gayer than you’ll ever be? I think she thinks gays are as normal as can be since she must be aware of all the gayness in the monarchy in its long history. But I really don’t give a damn.

  • robert in nyc

    @zachgriff11: And soon she’ll be Queen of another country where equal marriage will be legal, her own.

  • Alexandra

    @1equalityUSA: Actually, the United States rewards greed, lying and thievery. So congratulations, there’s no royalty. Doesn’t mean you’re better.

  • robert in nyc

    @Alexandra: Alexandra, you make a good point and not to mention buying elections. Whoever raises the most money wins. Something intrinsically wrong with that equation too. Now that the Citizens United law is in place, democracy is up for grabs for whoever has the most money and don’t get me started on voter fraud in Florida and elsewhere as well as voter caging. Something you don’t find in most EU elections.

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