Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II has given a speech to Parliament and for one of the first times in history, a member of the Royal family has mentioned sexual orientation in public.
The U.K. has voted itself into a strange situation. The Conservative Party called an early election, thinking they would gain a bigger majority, when in fact they ended up losing many seats. The result was a hung parliament, and it has meant to keep power, the Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, has had to look to the ultra-conservative Northern Irish party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a coalition to try to hold onto government.
The DUP are anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage and now hold the balance of power because the Conservatives did not receive enough votes on their own. Famed atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins tweeted this:
Hubristically called election. Now she’s beholden to anti-abortion, homophobic nuts who think the world < 10,000 yrs old. #IntroducingTheDUP
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) June 10, 2017
Progressive Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn did well in this election, but did not snatch victory. The new coalition with far right DUP has caused many to worry about how much influence they may have with this newly dependent government.
In her speech to parliament, the Queen spoke this line:
My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
Homosexuality was only decriminalized in the United Kingdom in 1967. Before then, same sex relationships were punishable. Alan Turing, the man who solved the Enigma code in World War II, was discovered to be homosexual and as a result was offered a choice of prison or chemical castration. He chose the latter and later killed himself. The tragedy of the mistreatment of homosexuality is heartbreaking and we cannot allow any progression to be undone.
It is a good sign that, perhaps in reaction to this newly formed government, that the Queen felt it was necessary to say the country will defend the community from discrimination. The DUP have blocked same sex marriage several times and it is feared this influence has now been given some power.
Watch the Queen’s speech here:
Featured image via YouTube.