Queen to sign new charter backing gay rights: The irony of the U.S.

Mar 11, 2013


Discussion by: MANintheMIDDLE
I was pointed to this article, by a friend, in an online discussion: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9920238/Queen-to-sign-new-charter-backing-gay-rights.html

You know, there’s a certain irony in this. The U.S. was born partly due to discrimination felt by groups like the Pilgrims. They were persecuted in England for their separatist stance against the Anglican Church. The freedom of religion amendment and the separation of church and state are direct results.  Now the more radical of these descendants of a persecuted people are doing the very things which caused their ancestors to create the country in the first place.

On top of it all, the country they rebelled against over freedom is now, arguably more free than their own!

24 comments on “Queen to sign new charter backing gay rights: The irony of the U.S.

  • “On top of it all, the country they rebelled against over freedom is now, arguably more free than their own!”

    When are the British going to have their first black head of state? Having a King or a Queen to bow down before is not my idea of freedom.



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  • The article states;

    “The words “other grounds” are said to refer to sexuality however any specific references to gay people are not included to avoid antagonising Commonwealth countries that retain laws against homosexuals, according to the Mail on Sunday.”

    It also says:

    “Forty-one of the Commonwealth’s 54 nations retain legislation against homosexual acts. In parts of Nigeria and Pakistan those found to have taken part in gay sex can receive the death penalty, in Trinidad and Tobago it can incur 25 years in jail and life imprisonment in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana.”

    Me thinks the Queen is no Barack Obama. She will have to try harder. And why avoid antagonising Commonwealth countries such as Pakistan and Nigeria? Is the Queen afraid of losing reelection?



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  • 4
    TheBritishGirl says:

    As the Queen acts under The Westminster System of parliamentary democracy, she is fairly powerless and practically unable to make and excerise laws in these countries without first consulting the advice of her Crown Ministers.
    It is an utter travesty that these things happen but I think rather than spreading this throughout all of the Commonwealth realms we should first take baby steps in helping some of the other countries turn around these laws/death penalties. Uganda hosted it’s first gay pride parade in 2011. Things will change slowly but you can’t force it.
    Another stupid thing is that the Queen has very little power in the UK as well and most of the major decisions are made by Cameron and Clegg in number 10. I do wish we had an Obama, just not to replace the Queen, to replace the two idiots that got elected instead. I’m all for a black priminster just so long as he keeps his word.
    I don’t feel that I have to bow down to the Queen, I feel free to do as I wish within the bounds of the law. There are a lot of things wrong with my country, but the Queen is not one of them. She is addding to a worthy cause.



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  • We’ve been told time and again that the Queen has no power. I’m not buying it. She is by far and away the most famous person in the UK. She is enormously wealthy. Her vestige is on currency and postage stamps. She is titled nobility. People drink toasts to her and sing songs asking God to protect her.

    I’ve no doubt that if the queen truly felt any moral outrage, if she cared for anyone or any idea, more than she valued her privilege and position she could cast caution to the wind and speak her mind. If she spoke her mind everyone would stop and listen. Her words would headline every newspaper and news show. If that’s not power what is?

    In reply to #4 by TheBritishGirl:

    As the Queen acts under The Westminster System of parliamentary democracy, she is fairly powerless and practically unable to make and excerise laws in these countries without first consulting the advice of her Crown Ministers.
    It is an utter travesty that these things happen but I think rather than spreading this throughout all of the Commonwealth realms we should first take baby steps in helping some of the other countries turn around these laws/death penalties. Uganda hosted it’s first gay pride parade in 2011. Things will change slowly but you can’t force it.
    Another stupid thing is that the Queen has very little power in the UK as well and most of the major decisions are made by Cameron and Clegg in number 10. I do wish we had an Obama, just not to replace the Queen, to replace the two idiots that got elected instead. I’m all for a black priminster just so long as he keeps his word.
    I don’t feel that I have to bow down to the Queen, I feel free to do as I wish within the bounds of the law. There are a lot of things wrong with my country, but the Queen is not one of them. She is addding to a worthy cause.



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  • Perhaps some people need to learn a bit history, instead of blindly believing American Creation Myths… Next you’ll be saying they landed on Plymouth Rock.

    The Pilgrims certainly did not leave England to create a religiously tolerant “free” society, they left to form their own community of religious intolerance. The religious freedoms in England at the time (poor as they may have been by today’s standards) were anathema to them. This may help answer the posted question.

    In reply to #2 by Eliot:

    hen are the British going to have their first black head of state? Having a King or a Queen to bow down before is not my idea of freedom.

    How petty, assuming you understand how the system works you can answer that for yourself. If you’re talking about elected officials, maybe if you look at the demographics of the UK you might wonder if they should have an Indian or Pakistani first, (and no mention of women….?) I think that elected or hereditary head of states and how that fits in with an idea of “freedom” is an interesting debate, but you’re going to have make some coherent points first.



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  • I’m reminded of a Lil Abner comic from the 1940’s. Lil Abner through skill and daring impresses a band of hoboes. To show their admiration the hoboes offer to crown Lil Abner and declare him the King of the Bums. But Lil Abner smiles with good nature and replies, “Now fellows I’m an American, I don’t believe in kings. To me one bum is just as good as another.”



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  • 11
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    We’re only able to have this conversation because of Alan Turing. Actually, the only reason we are not speaking German is because of Turing. Alan Turing is perhaps the most important person to ever live because not only did he do more to win WWII than Churchill, his breakthroughs in mathematics were entirely unique and original. He is the father of computer science, distinguishing computers from calculators. Alan Turing was chemically tortured and subsequently executed by the British government for being gay. A paltry apology was only recently issued. The British government has not owned up to this crime against humanity. It would be like murdering Einstein right after writing on the photoelectric effect.

    Liberace came to America fleeing persecution from the British government… for being gay. Pretty sure Britain was very late in legalizing homosexuality… 1980s?

    You got the Pilgrims all wrong too. They were the Christian equivalent of the Taliban. They were the persecutors. They wanted to wrap women in bags and destroy all art. They fled to the Americas so they could run their barbaric social experiment. They were not innocent victims seeking freedom. They were aspiring tyrants. The religious zealotry of the US is the expected result of this. Nothing ironic about that at all. All of the civic and cultural advances we have been able to make, such as throwing off Divine Right authority, has been in spite of all garbage England dumped on our shores.

    England has exported homophobia into every timezone, many places that did not have it before, and now feels superior? [I’ll save the mod some time by assuming my summary’s inevitable deletion]



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  • On top of it all, the country they rebelled against over freedom is now, arguably more free than their own!

    Yeah with libel laws, classism, degrading social solidarity,broken public welfare and a MONARCH!

    For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute. Most of Britain is secular and progressive. But a significant part (the influential Eton type) it is still an imperialist, militaristic, xenophobic, misogynistic and classist pompous thugs and neo-cons. Look at the popularity of people like Niall Ferguson, Douglass Murray or Nigel Farage. These guys would make KKK look like a geriatric bingo club.



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  • Well said. I have made a copy of your post just in case 🙂

    In reply to #11 by This Is Not A Meme:

    We’re only able to have this conversation because of Alan Turing. Actually, the only reason we are not speaking German is because of Turing. Alan Turing is perhaps the most important person to ever live because not only did he do more to win WWII than Churchill, his breakthroughs in mathematics were entirely unique and original. He is the father of computer science, distinguishing computers from calculators. Alan Turing was chemically tortured and subsequently executed by the British government for being gay. A paltry apology was only recently issued. The British government has not owned up to this crime against humanity. It would be like murdering Einstein right after writing on the photoelectric effect.

    Liberace came to America fleeing persecution from the British government… for being gay. Pretty sure Britain was very late in legalizing homosexuality… 1980s?

    You got the Pilgrims all wrong too. They were the Christian equivalent of the Taliban. They were the persecutors. They wanted to wrap women in bags and destroy all art. They fled to the Americas so they could run their barbaric social experiment. They were not innocent victims seeking freedom. They were aspiring tyrants. The religious zealotry of the US is the expected result of this. Nothing ironic about that at all. All of the civic and cultural advances we have been able to make, such as throwing off Divine Right authority, has been in spite of all garbage England dumped on our shores.

    England has exported homophobia into every timezone, many places that did not have it before, and now feels superior? [I’ll save the mod some time by assuming my summary’s inevitable deletion]



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  • In reply to #12 by kbala:

    !For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.

    Oh wow – I live in the USA, although I’m not American, and it often amazes me hearing talk like that. Sure, America is generally a free society, but there are dozens of countries that do better, lots of them monarchies. I’m certainly not defending monarchies, but the evidence is contrary to the opinion Monarchs must oppress freedom.

    Let’s take your example of freedom of speech, taking Reporters Without Borders as a guide the US is 32nd on their press freedom index. Good, but definitely room for improvement. Many other NGOs of various political persuasions rank countries freedoms, generally the US is outside the top ten or lower… I think if the average American knew of the freedoms in Scandanavian Monarchies it would blow their mind.

    The Library of Congress censors wiki-leaks how’s that for defending “freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.” ???



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  • As I understand it few people today believe in the divine right of kings. The justification for a hereditary monarchy is that having a new head of state every four or eight years would simply be too upsetting for too many people. Those who support the monarchy do so in the belief that their king and royal family will provide stability. Monarchists are not so very different from the religious. What both seek is not freedom or reason but security.

    As for the WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX Saudi Arabia was listed at 163 and last time I checked they were a Kingdom. However I must admit I was surprised to see Iceland was listed at 9. I would have expected them to have been listed as number 1. I’m sure you’ll remember that Iceland welcomed Bobby Fischer with open arms. Rejoice, your hero has returned!

    !For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.

    Oh wow – I live in the USA, although I’m not American, and it often amazes me hearing talk like that. Sure, America is generally a free society, but there are dozens of countries that do better, lots of them monarchies. I’m certainly not defending monarchies, but the evidence is contrary to the opinion Monarchs must oppress freedom.

    Let’s take your example of freedom of speech, taking Reporters Without Borders as a guide the US is 32nd on their press freedom index. Good, but definitely room for improvement. Many other NGOs of various political persuasions rank countries freedoms, generally the US is outside the top ten or lower… I think if the average American knew of the freedoms in Scandanavian Monarchies it would blow their mind.

    The Library of Congress censors wiki-leaks how’s that for defending “freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.” ???



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  • Fair enough!

    a. Name a Scandinavian/European/East-Asian country that would elect a minority, someone of a different race?

    b. Name any other country in the world, at least in principle, sends out army to defend what they believe in. And please don’t lecture about the British sending troops for the First & Second Opium war or the Spanish sending troops to South America or the French to North Africa. They all have/had vested interests. As far as I know, the only society that has ever fought for secular principle is the US.

    c. Enough with the Scandinavian bullshit, we all accept that they are wealthy, educated, secular and free, So fucking what? What does that mean for the rest of the world? Giving out Nobel peace prizes once a year while doing business with the most shadiest and abhorrent dictators around the world, does not make them any more freer or fairer than US. US does the same, but at least in principle, they send troops when situations escalate. Not send diplomatic letters!

    I have never been to US and I haven’t got any plans to live there in the near future. But from a purely third person point of view, this world would be a lot more worse if not for the American influence. If every country behaved like the Swiss and Scandinavians i.e. collude with the nazis and turning blind eye towards foreign dictators while lecturing the rest of freedom of press, we would have an awful planet!

    In reply to #14 by djs56:

    In reply to #12 by kbala:

    !For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.

    Oh wow – I live in the USA, although I’m not American, and it often amazes me hearing talk like that. Sure, America is generally a free society, but there are dozens of countries that do better, lots of them monarchies. I’m certainly not defending monarchies, but the evidence is contrary to the opinion Monarchs must oppress freedom.

    Let’s take your example of freedom of speech, taking Reporters Without Borders as a guide the US is 32nd on their press freedom index. Good, but definitely room for improvement. Many other NGOs of various political persuasions rank countries freedoms, generally the US is outside the top ten or lower… I think if the average American knew of the freedoms in Scandanavian Monarchies it would blow their mind.

    The Library of Congress censors wiki-leaks how’s that for defending “freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.” ???



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  • And let us not forget that it was an American soldier who leaked those information. None of the “moral”, “ethical” & “secular” European cronies under NATO did that!

    In reply to #15 by Eliot:

    As I understand it few people today believe in the divine right of kings. The justification for a hereditary monarchy is that having a new head of state every four or eight years would simply be too upsetting for too many people. Those who support the monarchy do so in the belief that their king and royal family will provide stability. Monarchists are not so very different from the religious. What both seek is not freedom or reason but security.

    As for the WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX Saudi Arabia was listed at 163 and last time I checked they were a Kingdom. However I must admit I was surprised to see Iceland was listed at 9. I would have expected them to have been listed as number 1. I’m sure you’ll remember that Iceland welcomed Bobby Fischer with open arms. Rejoice, your hero has returned!

    !For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.

    Oh wow – I live in the USA, although I’m not American, and it often amazes me hearing talk like that. Sure, America is generally a free society, but there are dozens of countries that do better, lots of them monarchies. I’m certainly not defending monarchies, but the evidence is contrary to the opinion Monarchs must oppress freedom.

    Let’s take your example of freedom of speech, taking Reporters Without Borders as a guide the US is 32nd on their press freedom index. Good, but definitely room for improvement. Many other NGOs of various political persuasions rank countries freedoms, generally the US is outside the top ten or lower… I think if the average American knew of the freedoms in Scandanavian Monarchies it would blow their mind.

    The Library of Congress censors wiki-leaks how’s that for defending “freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.” ???



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  • Are we talking about individuals or states… ? I thought it was states… What did the US do to Bradly Manning… tortured him and then solitary confinement. Again, I ask, how is that defending “freedom of speech and expression in its absolute” (The more I try and understand that statement the less sense it makes…)

    In reply to #17 by kbala:

    And let us not forget that it was an American soldier who leaked those information. None of the “moral”, “ethical” & “secular” European cronies under NATO did that!In reply to #15 by Eliot:As I understand it few people today believe in the divine right of kings. The justification for a hereditary monarchy is that having a new head of state every four or eight years would simply be too upsetting for too many people. Those who support the monarchy do so in the belief that their king and royal family will provide stability. Monarchists are not so very different from the religious. What both seek is not freedom or reason but security.As for the WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX Saudi Arabia was listed at 163 and last time I checked they were a Kingdom. However I must admit I was surprised to see Iceland was listed at 9. I would have expected them to have been listed as number 1. I’m sure you’ll remember that Iceland welcomed Bobby Fischer with open arms. Rejoice, your hero has returned!!For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.Oh wow – I live in the USA, although I’m not American, and it often amazes me hearing talk like that. Sure, America is generally a free society, but there are dozens of countries that do better, lots of them monarchies. I’m certainly not defending monarchies, but the evidence is contrary to the opinion Monarchs must oppress freedom.Let’s take your example of freedom of speech, taking Reporters Without Borders as a guide the US is 32nd on their press freedom index. Good, but definitely room for improvement. Many other NGOs of various political persuasions rank countries freedoms, generally the US is outside the top ten or lower… I think if the average American knew of the freedoms in Scandanavian Monarchies it would blow their mind.The Library of Congress censors wiki-leaks how’s that for defending “freedom of speech and expression in its absolute.” ???



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  • In reply to #16 by kbala:

    Fair enough! a. Name a Scandinavian/European/East-Asian country that would elect a minority, someone of a different race?
    b Name any other country in the world, at least in principle, sends out army to defend what they believe in.
    c. Enough with the Scandinavian bullshit, we all accept that they are wealthy, educated, secular and free, So fucking what? What does that mean for the rest of the world? …

    a: I think that is an interesting question, how do you normalise to population demographics and history? How do you define minority and different race? In the UK Disraeli was Jewish prime-minister, does that count? What about the numerous Scottish and Welsh minorities being the PM? Sarkozy, Jewish, Sadam Hussein a minority Muslim in Iraq…. A fun game and the internet can educate you more than I need to, but I’m not sure how it relates to freedom. Also, I tihnk the choice of selection criteria biases the point, if we choose women instead of men then America has a count of zero whereas most (all?) European countries are positive, does that mean America is not free for women?

    b: All countries send their armies out to defend what they believe in (unless they are nation-state mercenaries, which has happened), I’m not going to list all the countries in the world that have a military for you.

    c: Denmark and Norway fought against the Nazis, although they didn’t last long, Sweden were a disgrace. Do you really need a list of American puppet dictators, kept in power while the US lectures the world on “freedom” ??

    To be honest, you’re not really making much sense to me. Having the worlds greatest military by far, and still being impotent to prevent humans rights abuses in many parts of the world, i.e. North Korea, is not defending “freedom … in it’s absolute” If you were to say America defends it’s “freedom” in selective places, of it’s choosing, then I wouldn’t disagree with you.

    Finally, as soon as you act you necessarily limit the freedom of others. Given we both agree the USA has a huge military and diplomatic output (acting for it’s own interests, I believe) I think that means America necessarily limits the freedom of others due to the huge amount of actions performed by the war machine and global empire you seem so enamoured with. “Freedom” is quite a complex concept and I certainly don’t see more or less of it in the US compared to many other places I’ve lived. Different freedoms, sure, but not necessarily more, better or desirable ones.



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  • 20
    nick keighley says:

    In reply to #11 by This Is Not A Meme:

    We’re only able to have this conversation because of Alan Turing.

    I’m dubious about this. And any other simplistic explanation for historical events.

    Actually, the only reason we are not speaking German is because of Turing. Alan Turing is perhaps the most important person to ever live because not only did he do more to win WWII than Churchill, his breakthroughs in mathematics were entirely unique and original. He is the father of computer science, distinguishing computers from calculators. Alan Turing was chemically tortured and subsequently executed by the British government for being gay.

    this is pure speculation

    A paltry apology was only recently issued.

    I’ve never understood why the current government aplogises for something that happened long ago.

    The British government has not owned up to this crime against humanity. It would be like murdering Einstein right after writing on the photoelectric effect.

    yeah right

    Liberace came to America fleeing persecution from the British government… for being gay. Pretty sure Britain was very late in legalizing homosexuality… 1980s?

    1. Well in advance of many other countries. How were homosexuals treated in America at this time? Stonewall was 1969.

    England has exported homophobia into every timezone, many places that did not have it before, and now feels superior? [I’ll save the mod some time by assuming my summary’s inevitable deletion]

    well I for one would hope the moderators would have more sense. Though I disagree with much of what you say.



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  • 21
    nick keighley says:

    In reply to #12 by kbala:

    On top of it all, the country they rebelled against over freedom is now, arguably more free than their own!

    Yeah with libel laws, classism, degrading social solidarity,broken public welfare and a MONARCH!

    For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It is US that defends freedom of speech and expression in its absolute. Most of Britain is secular and progressive. But a significant part (the influential Eton type) it is still an imperialist, militaristic, xenophobic, misogynistic and classist pompous thugs and neo-cons. Look at the popularity of people like Niall Ferguson, Douglass Murray or Nigel Farage. These guys would make KKK look like a geriatric bingo club.

    calling Farage KKK is utterly over the top (and I don’t agree with his politics)



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  • 22
    nick keighley says:

    In reply to #16 by kbala:

    Fair enough!

    a. Name a Scandinavian/European/East-Asian country that would elect a minority,
    someone of a different race?

    plenty of people from minorities have been elected in various european countries.
    Though I accept not to head of state or head of government (or at least I can’t
    think of an example)

    b. Name any other country in the world, at least in principle, sends out army to defend what they believe in. And please don’t lecture about the British sending troops for the First & Second Opium war or the Spanish sending troops to South America or the French to North Africa. They all have/had vested interests. As far as I know, the only society that has ever fought for secular principle is the US.

    the UK has troops in Afganistan and Iraq. (though I regard Iraq as a major mistake)
    The UK intervened in Sierra Leone. I don’t see that the recent french intervention
    any worse on a self interest level than some of the things the US has gotup to.
    troops when situations escalate. Not send diplomatic letters!

    I have never been to US and I haven’t got any plans to live there in the near
    future. But from a purely third person point of view, this world would be a lot
    more worse if not for the American influence.

    oddly I agree with you here. Just I don’t think they’ve been an unalloyed good.

    If every country behaved like the
    Swiss and Scandinavians i.e. collude with the nazis

    most of scandinavia was invaded and occupied by the Nazis. Only Sweden was able
    to maintain neutrality.

    and turning blind eye towards
    foreign dictators while lecturing the rest of freedom of press, we would have an
    awful planet!

    don’t look too hard at US actions in some parts of South America. And then there’s
    camp Gitmo…



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  • 23
    sffmadman66 says:

    In reply to #12 by kbala:

    On top of it all, the country they rebelled against over freedom is now, arguably more free than their own!

    Yeah with libel laws, classism, degrading social solidarity,broken public welfare and a MONARCH!

    For all its flaws, its US that defends those who cant defend themselves across the globe. It…

    I don’t know about all that. But I do know the U.S. only “defends” those who have something they want.



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  • 24
    sffmadman66 says:

    In reply to #16 by kbala:

    b. Name any other country in the world, at least in principle, sends out army to defend what they believe in. And please don’t lecture about the British sending troops for the First & Second Opium war or the Spanish sending troops to South America or the French to North Africa. They all have/had vested interests. As far as I know, the only society that has ever fought for secular principle is the US….

    I’m a U.S. citizen, born and raised, and I know I can’t. But the U.S. also has/had vested interests in nearly every every war they’ve fought starting at least with Vietnam (I’m inclined to think every war), usually something financially lucrative (because there’s nothing wrong with making a profit, right?). The U.S. isn’t fighting for secular principle. It’s fighting for profit, and only the super-rich are getting to see any of it. Even if it did trickle down, it’s blood money as far I’m concerned. See: the U.S. supported the Shah when the people of Iran wanted democracy. Hypocrites, my so-called representatives.



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