Following the signing of an official document by her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, the Commonwealth officially stands against all discrimination.
The document formalises “core values of the organisation and the aspiration of its members.” That organisation is the Commonwealth, which Australia is a member of.
The Queen is set to sign the document later today in London.
The document will officially oppose “all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.”
While the wording is vague, “other grounds” undoubtedly includes sexuality. The LGBTIQ community has not been labelled by name in an effort to not cause conflict in Commonwealth countries in which strong anti-gay laws still exist. While the charter doesn’t identify the group specially, it could add weight to the gay equality rights movement occurring in Australia currently.
The charter is a great step forward in the fight against all discrimination, and will especially benefit the feminist movement for equal rights to pay. This is incredibly important considering that still as of last year the gender pay gap for graduates was at 9.1 per cent on average.
2013 is the time to embrace change, to embrace equal rights for all and it’s impressive that the Queen seems to be encouraging this despite the charter not specifying the LGBTIQ community directly.
Some politicians in the UK are not embracing the move: Conservative British MP David Davies said:
“My worry is that the politically correct brigade will use it to silence the legitimate debate about issues like gay marriage.”
But Mr Davies should and needs to realise, there is no legitimate debate around the issue except why is it taking so long?
The message to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard is clear: get with the program and get on board. Marriage is not something that should be restricted to just men and women, marriage is about love and all love should be able to experience a legally recognised marriage.
It’s up to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, as the Queen’s representative in Australia to encourage our Prime Minister to aspire to end discrimination and legalise gay marriage. But, will she? The dangers of the charter lies in the LGBTIQ community not being referenced directly, but in the fight against all forms of discrimination the charter is a move in the right direction.
And only time will tell, how those opposed to gay marriage will react to the move. My guess is we will see the republican movement swollen by haters.
2013 is the year marriage rights must be extended to all. If the Queen can handle it, why can’t Ms Gillard? Let’s hope the PM takes the hint, and moves with the times before times get ahead of her and the Royal Family begin referencing the LGBTIQ community directly.