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.
John Gallagher, can you please henceforth refer to the 400,000 “protestors” in France as “catholic traitorous Vichy scum”, I understand the need to remain civil, however to us in Europe what those people did and continue to do is unforgivable.
Why is Queen Elizabeth getting any credit for this? Her signing it is a ceremonial formality. She SURE AS HELL didn’t endorse it, didn’t campaign for it.
Elizabeth has NEVER been supportive of the gay community, period!
@Kamuriie: Even I as possibly the most ardent Anti-Royal is just letting it go today.
The royal family, most notably the Queem Mother but princess Di etc etc, have never been anti gay. Many accusations can be thrown at them, but homophobia? They’d be no one left at Buckingham palace.
@Kamuriie: Queen Elizabeth isn’t getting “credit” for marriage equality. The article is simply stating that the last formality for passing this law has been passed.
My suggestion? Take a few deep breathes, maybe go for a walk. You seriously need to cool off.
Neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Phillip had any choice in this matter. The English Parliament passed the Marriage Equality bill and whether the queen likes it or not she had to give her “assent”.
Ironic that America was founded by those escaping oppression by the Church of England, and 200+ years later, England has marriage equality and America continues to operate under the oppression of evangelical christians.
Lord Mountbatten would have been happy to hear the news
@Spike: I think you mean founded by people who were pissed off at our liberal [at the time] attitudes towards other religions and sects. They left because they weren’t allowed to persecute, not because they were persecuted.
The queen celebrated by phoning up Helen Mirim to say “Hey baby, put on that red dress I bought for you and get your sweet ass over here for some Royal lovin!
We Few! We happy few!
Ooh..too bad. I guess if Prince William waited, he could have married the boy he really loved instead of Pippa Longstocking
While royal assent is a formality, should the Queen inform the Government that she would have problems with the legislation the government doesn’t bring it forward, especially if it is a matter of social rather than fiscal policy. She is a traditionalist when it comes to religion and probably had the more conservative elements of the CofE, which is exempted from this legislation, advising her to refuse assent (see the rather homophobic Bishop of York). That would have happened before the bill was introduced. So, assent was guaranteed once it was introduced by the government, which had to overcome a backbench revolt from its own MPs. This bill carried due to opposition (Labor) support combined with Lib Dem and front bench (government ministers) Conservative support. One other thing, the staff that works for the Queen is overwhelmingly gay. While they may not consider marriage (they often consider themselves celibate while in royal service), they would not be happy if this bill failed due to the withholding of assent. The attitude towards LGBTTQ at the Palace has changed a great deal since Diana, who was seen as the most supportive royal due to her AIDS advocacy. She often shamed Thatcher over the disease, which angered the “Iron Lady” no end. Yet, when she brought it up with the Queen, she was told that the family was “not inclined” to reign Diana in as it but them in a better light. Queen Elizabeth II may not be the swiftest to realize public sentiment, but she does eventually “get it” and hasn’t sat on the British throne all these years without gaining some political smarts. Also note that Scotland is not covered by this legislation, nor is Northern Ireland, whose MPs were adamantly against it in Commons.
Why is it that if someone doesn’t agree with left wing people, they’re branded as ‘right wing’ like it’s some sort of curse? If that were true, then left wing is also to be cursed, as it does PLENTY of crazy stuff that is not for the good of society. Maybe you should just say socially conservative people instead. At the most, antiquated is civil enough to call them.
Not this ‘If-I-call-them-right-wing-then-automatically-they-are-evil’ crap. There are evil left wing people too, and probably more of them, as the Western world is dominated by lefties now.
Also, @2eo; the French are past the Vichy government. For quite some time now. I don’t get the overly histrionic reaction from you either. It was a tiny, albeit loud minority who caused issues in France.
@Redpalacebulleaglesox: What the hell are you smoking ? The royal family’s gay servants “consider themselves celibate” ??!!! No they don’t. I know a few of them and they frequent gay bars and gay saunas all the time in London. You may be trying to impress the non-British people on this website with your alleged knowledge of the royal family but it is complete lies !
Also, Diana NEVER publicly supported gay people. NEVER. She publicly supported AIDS patients – that is a very different matter and she only did that to get more publicity from the UK media than Charles. Diana was playing with fire – she knew she could irritate the royals by winning more headlines and more media coverage than them so she hired a PR firm to find out which charities/causes etc would get her the most attention. AIDS patients and landmines were just two of the items the PR company suggested. Diana did all of it for HERSELF – not for anyone else. When she died she didn’t leave a penny to any of those charities she claimed to support – NOT ONE PENNY ! None of the royals are nice or decent people. People need to wake up to what monsters they are !
@Kamuriie: You are 100% correct. I am glad you commented. It annoys me so much how stupid and blind gay people are when it comes to the evil British royal family !
@Icebloo: speaking of stupid and blind…
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.
I will never understand the British relationship with the monarchy. To bow down to a monarch and seek her approval of democratically enacted laws is medieval. And to call themselves subjects of the monarchy no less.
@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..
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