ONTD Political

MPs to plan for gay royals marrying same-sex partners and their children becoming king or queen

6:20 pm - 01/21/2013
MPs look set to debate a change in the law to allow royals in same-sex relationships to marry or be in civil partnerships and for their children to be recognised as the heir to the throne.

Parliament is due to pass legislation shortly to allow for the first child of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge to rule as monarch regardless of whether they are a boy or a girl. Now Labour MP Paul Flynn is gathering support for an amendment that will extend the protection to include the eventuality that the child is gay or lesbian.

If accepted, the change to the law could lea to the reign of an openly gay or lesbian king or queen and for their same-sex partner to be recognised as consort. Any children born to the couple through artificial insemination or surrogacy would succeed to the throne so long as the couple are in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership. Current inheritance laws mean that if the couple had a child through adoption, they would not join the line of succession for the throne and it is not clear MPs would seek to change this.

In order to secure a full debate, the amendment needs to be accepted by John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, almost certain as he is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. It is expected to have the support of many Labour, Liberal Democrats and most Conservatives that back David Cameron’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage.

The amendment would be to a law that as well as making inheritance gender neutral, will allow future royal babies to marry Catholics if they wish although the royal must remain in the Church of England.

The issue is likely to be a complex one as the ruling monarch is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Church is currently officially opposed to same-sex marriage.

hana_ginkawa 21st-Jan-2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think this will be a great thing, once it is passed.
suwiel 21st-Jan-2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
The fact that they're even vaguely thinking about this potential issue makes me happy.
moonshaz 22nd-Jan-2013 01:34 am (UTC)
I know, it's amazing really!
maclyn 21st-Jan-2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, such progress..
redstar826 21st-Jan-2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
I feel like there is a joke in here somewhere about queens :)
moonshaz 22nd-Jan-2013 01:34 am (UTC)
LOL'd irl. For realz.
mingemonster 22nd-Jan-2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
Some conservative politician (I think it was a politician, at least) made a comment about how you can't have two queens on the throne, and I just can't help but wonder whether he intentionally made that joke or not
thelilyqueen 21st-Jan-2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
With the gender-blind succession change now I think the bigger fight in the event of an out trans royal might be over how to address them, especially during the process of transition. The more transphobic might refuse to change their form of address until all the is had been dotted, or ever, but the royal would have their supporters too and I can't see the royal family just ignoring that kind of disrespect to one of its members even if they weren't all 100% for trans rights.
maclyn 21st-Jan-2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
Considering that our monarchy is just about one of the worst institutions in the world that's all about power and oppression and domination and inequality, and that anybody who had a fuckin learning disability got locked up out of sight forever, I'm gonna go ahead and say that this is a fantasy that will never happen. I mean I really cannot get my head around why people see this as some big move, they're only doing this because legally they'll have to now and it literally benefits ONLY this one ludicrously entitled and endowed family - this is the fuckin definition of crap non advancements that make zero difference to most LGBTQ people's lives but get plenty of column inches and fawning appreciation from mainstream organisations. You can't just shove a coat of whitewash on the royalty and be like yayyy.
pleasure_past 22nd-Jan-2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

The only way I see this mattering at all is in the implications it might have for the way the Anglican Church treats queer members. But I am honestly not hopeful at all. I don't even think this change in the law will go through any time soon, let alone one that will affect anyone but one of the most fucking privileged queer people in the entire fucking world, whose very existence is still a complete hypothetical at this point.
mingemonster 22nd-Jan-2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
Personally I think it's a pretty big deal to not have discrimination written into law, even if it doesn't change people's lives more than that. It doesn't make the monarchy any better, but it makes a difference for me if the official stance of my country isn't that I'm inferior, regardless of whether the people I actually interact with on a daily basis agree.
pleasure_past 22nd-Jan-2013 07:36 pm (UTC)
Unless you're a queer monarch, I don't really understand how this does anything to fix the legal view that you are inferior...? As long as there are monarchs the legal view will be that anyone who isn't one is by default inferior, and even if we put that aside, this law does absolutely nothing to support queer rights for the general population. It doesn't really change anything for you, it just says that hypothetically if a queer person is born into very specific ultra-privileged circumstances then they are too good for homophobia, but the other 99.999999999999999% of the queer population can just deal with their situation exactly as it is. Basically, MPs are prioritizing ending homophobia for hypothetical royal babies over ending homophobia for actual non-royal queer people, and I think that's what's upsetting maclyn.

Edited because I referred to the law when I really should have referred to the people.

Edited at 2013-01-22 07:39 pm (UTC)
mingemonster 22nd-Jan-2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
Because if you say that only the children of straight parents can become monarchs, you're still placing straight people above gays. Take the Swedish constitution, for example, which forbids anyone but a Lutheran from being king or queen. No, it won't actually keep anyone from the throne, certainly not the average muslim, but just having the law say that the position as head of state is only for the majority is discriminatory.
pleasure_past 22nd-Jan-2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
But it's still discriminatory. It's an innately unjust system. What this law is saying is that it doesn't matter if a monarch is queer as long as they're the monarch. Everyone who is not a monarch is still living under a legal system that is still full of homophobia. (And also you still have a monarch.) I'm certainly not trying to say queer people aren't allowed to be happy about this if they want to be, but I think it's equally valid for queer people to be annoyed by the fact that these MPs are being called progressive for hand-wringing over hypothetical queer monarchs while actual queer people are still suffering massive injustices.

The take-away from this for some of us is not that these MPs think queer people should be equal to straight people, but rather that they think that Will and Kate's foetus should be better than everyone else regardless of its eventual sexuality. There isn't much of a victory here when you think of it in those terms.
louisiane_fille 21st-Jan-2013 09:56 pm (UTC)
They are definitely taking a long term approach to this, which makes me happy. I'm glad to see that someone is thinking ahead.
wrestlingdog 21st-Jan-2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
Like someone else said, the fact that this is even being considered is awesome.
ebay313 21st-Jan-2013 11:52 pm (UTC)
Are these rights that people who are not royals already have there?
agentsculder 22nd-Jan-2013 12:32 am (UTC)
Not being a citizen of the UK I can't speak authoritatively, but I don't think there's any issue with gay people inheriting property, or gay people's children inheriting their parents' estates.

For the royals, the issue is a bit tricky, as the article mentions because the king/queen is also the titular head of the Church of England. I think the bigger issue here may end up being if the Church of England can accept the possibility of its leader being gay.
ebay313 22nd-Jan-2013 12:51 am (UTC)
Well it's not just inheriting estates, but also about having a marriage/union legally recognized and having children from that marriage/union legally recognized. I know that is not the case here, but I don't know abut the UK.
(no subject) - Anonymous
ebay313 22nd-Jan-2013 03:49 am (UTC)
Where did you see that?
the_gabih 22nd-Jan-2013 12:42 pm (UTC)
There's also the issue of succession, which I guess could be complicated if you could only adopt a child? Idk.
ljtaylor 22nd-Jan-2013 07:15 am (UTC)
at present it is possible for regular folk to enter into a civil partnership. full blown marriage is not yet legal as there are a few religious leaders & general members of the public digging their heels in about it, however Cameron is, afaik, pro-same sex marriage. so I did raise my eyebrows a bit at the idea of royals being permitted to marry before us plebs can, but I think the article is being general. the UK may allow same sex marriage by then anyway.
ebay313 22nd-Jan-2013 07:16 am (UTC)
good to know, thanks :)
tabaqui 22nd-Jan-2013 12:05 am (UTC)
That's very cool.
ohmiya_sg 22nd-Jan-2013 01:52 am (UTC)
The issue is likely to be a complex one as the ruling monarch is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Oh please let the next ruler be gay. It would do my heart good, assuming this passes.
hinoema 22nd-Jan-2013 12:42 pm (UTC)
Charles? William? Hmm...
romp 22nd-Jan-2013 03:12 am (UTC)
I was surprised when I learned a few years ago that it wasn't all gender neutral. I guess I thought that must have been done in the 1970s or something. Better late than never, I suppose.
strandedinaber 22nd-Jan-2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
MPs are doing something that I agree with and think is an important thing to focus on. And not bowing to bigots.

I am confused by this.

However, yay :)
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