Not long after the British parliament is set to pass legislation allowing any child of future monarchs, regardless of gender, to ascend to the throne — fully opening the monarchy to women – that body will consider including gays and lesbians in the line of royal succession as well. Labor MP Paul Flynn has introduced an amendment to the gender neutrality law that, if adopted, would ensure that a royal heir’s sexual orientation would not disqualify them from becoming king or queen. Pink News reports:
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.
The article notes an especially interesting wrinkle in the debate: the British monarch, in addition to being king or queen, is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England — a church that officially opposes marriage equality. It is unclear how this issue might be resolved.
Flynn’s amendment is almost certain to be accepted for full debate by the Speaker of the House of Commons, a strong LGBT equality supporter. MPs from Labor, Liberal Democrats, and Conservative supporters of Prime Minister David Cameron’s marriage equality plans are also likely to back this legislation.
Stay tuned as this debate unfolds, folks. It promises to be interesting, and if it goes our way, the legions of gay kids who grow up wanting to be a queen (or king) may finally have a chance.