Alex Blaze

Is the Queen of the UK homophobic?

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 07, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics

It's queeneng.jpga question I never really thought of before, even though she is one of the most powerful women in the world. She's the queen regnant of 16 independent nations and the Supreme Governor of the central Church in the world's third-largest Christian communion. She's a secular mini-Pope, a ceremonial powers-only Obama, and the English post-retirement Oprah all wrapped into one.

But she wrote two letters to the conservative Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans this past week. If you haven't been following, the Anglican Communion is in the fight for its soul as schism is being threatened by conservative churches who are mad that the Episcopalians ordained a gay bishop and nominated a female bishop to lead them. They're also mad that the Church of England has done little to stop the predominantly progressive American Anglicans. So the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans boycotted the Lambeth Conference last year and held a counter-conference. They want to the Communion to go back to telling gays to closet themselves and to treat women as inferior, or to destroy the Communion trying. So for Elizabeth II to support their "concerns"...

She told the heads of the traditionalist group, formed in response to the liberal direction of some parts of the Anglican Communion, that she "understood their concerns" about the future of the 80 million-strong global church.

The Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has also wished them well with today's launch in London of a new alliance of evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parishes in Britain and Ireland.

One leading evangelical said: "We found the letters very supportive."

So: is it boilerplate, support for unity at all costs, or actual support for the FCA's demands?

The Telegraph didn't publish the full letters, so I don't know their exact language. Perhaps the evangelical interviewed was getting a bit ahead of himself. Or not.

Google doesn't reveal any history of homophobic (or gay-friendly) statements from Elizabeth II. That makes sense - I'd imagine she'd rather just stay out of it. Peter Tatchell said she endorsed "a homophobic grouping within the Church of England," but Peter Tatchell isn't known for restraint when it comes to these sorts of things.

Experts on Anglicanism can parse the queens actions, but it doesn't seem good to an outsider like me for her to be encouraging a group hell-bent on getting their agenda through that has little concern for the Communion's unity. It can't imagine how this could help. If I know anything about conservatives, it's that they're never appeased and don't believe in compromise. You give an inch, they try to take a mile. And if you fight them over all but one inch of that mile, you become the enemy extremist opposed to whatever they deem right.

In other words, as an outsider, again, I don't see how something like this would defuse the situation.

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And to think of Elton John and all the other LGBT people that the Queen has knighted.

the royal family are all tories
except princess di,who was liberal. the prince(charles) seems to be moderate(maybe)
but interestingly, stephan whittle (ftm) has an obe(order of the british empire)so even with their tory affiliations, they are to the left as a whole from the U.S. hopefully we can catch up to them, though the(newish) mayor of london is a tory....
(tory is like rebublican)

Tories are NOT Republicans.

Unlike the idiotic American political establishment British parties are not sharply divided by ideological issues. Currently Brown and Cameron are in competition to see who can out gay the other one.

In his first Conservative Party Conference as Leader, David Cameron stated that the Party had a duty to support a "commitment to marriage" among men and women, between a "man and a man, and a woman and a woman". Additionally, just a week ago, Cameron became the first Tory leader to speak at a gay pride event where he appologised for the 1988 passage of Section 28. Currently the Tories are leading in the polls amongst LGBT voters (honestly who can blame them – after this fiasco with Labour and all…)

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 9, 2009 12:46 AM

The tories are like Republicans in many ways. The vast majority of Tory MPs vote against LGBT legislation like the recent hate crimes bill, a reproductive freedom bill that makes it easier for lesbian couples to have children and every other GLBT rights bill that’s come down the pike in the last 10 years.

Labour (and the LibDems) repealed Thatcher’s homohating Section 28 and went on to pass a broad array of bills that make it easier to sue bigots. Labours biggest failure so far is their kowtowing to the anglo-cathoic CoE on the question of civil partnerships instead of marriage.
In one way the Tories are more like the Democrats than the Republicans. They mumble and blather about LGBT rights and make lots of guarantees but like Obamas party won't follow through. Labour did.

(New) Labour may indeed lose. Their support for the war, cuts in social spending and forgiving attitude towards the English looter class makes them impossible to tell apart from the Tories. The world recession is hitting England hard and when (or if) it becomes a world depression, many voters, seeing no particular difference between the parties, will vote for Tory 'hopey-changey'. Just like gullible people here voted for Obama’s 'hopey-changey'.

They can fool a lot of the people some of the time.

As for the homohating of der Saxe-Coburg-Gotha und von Battenburg klans they come by that automatically as adherents of the anglo-catholic cult.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 7, 2009 11:57 PM

Is the pope Nazi?

This is really meaningless. As Supreme Governor of the Church of England, she isn't about to encourage schism. Maybe her vague empathy is an attempt to avoid schism in the C of E. She serves as patron for numerous groups, around 3,000+ charities. If the Queen disliked gay people, she would probably have to fire 2/3rds of her palace staff. In terms of Tory politics, the Queen doesn't seem to have been too fond of Margaret Thatcher. The Queen has publicly expressed admiration for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, but that didn't signify she is a Muslim. In her Throne Speech in 2003, the Queen said, "My Government will maintain its commitment to increased equality and social justice by bringing forward legislation on the registration of civil partnerships between same sex couples." The Queen can refuse to read anything that is repugnant to her. She also has the right and solemn duty to admonish, advise, and counsel the Prime Minister. Not all of the legislation for Parliament is set forth in the Throne Speech. The Queen simply says, "Other measures will be laid before you." Public solicitation for prostitution is illegal in the UK. If Parliament plans to introduce a bill to legalize public sex work, I doubt the queen's speech would include anything about that topic. The Queen never mentioned the 1967 Abortion Act in the UK in her Throne Speech. Some Europeans monarchs (King Baudouin of Belgium in 1990) withheld Royal Assent to pro-choice laws. The Queen gave Royal Assent to the UK abortion law. If she found legal recognition of gay unions offensive, she would not have agreed to the inclusion of that topic in a Throne Speech. It would have been covered by: "Other measures will be laid before you." In the 3,000+ charities supported by the Royal family, don't you think there are homophobic bigots in those groups, too? The Queen isn't perfect, but after eight years of George the gay-baiting fascist, I'd take the Queen.

Lynn David Lynn David | July 8, 2009 1:05 AM

Of course she's homophobic, have you seen how she treats Prince Charles?

I got no idea....

She's being a diplomat.

Think what Obama said recently to a Catholic group: I understand your viewpoit, and I understand theirs.

She's not going to get into some controversy. That's better left for a group of politicians, instead of a prominent individual.

I tend to agree, Lucrece. "understood their concerns" is royalty speak for "I've heard what they have to say." You can understand something without agreeing with it.

According to a blog in the Telegraph -

“Sources close to the Palace”, as they say, have coughed lightly and raised an eyebrow to one another. That’s a courtier’s equivalent of being incandescent with rage.
Because Her Majesty said no such thing. A secretary wrote in reply to representations that Her Majesty (as Supreme Governor of the Church of England) “understands the commitment to the Anglican Church that prompted you and your brethren to write as you did”. And that was a year ago, in reply to a letter to her from what was then called Gafcon, when the traditionalists met in Jerusalem. She then sent her “good wishes to all concerned” last week in response to a separate approach from Foca.