British queen set to sign new gay rights charter

British queen set to sign new gay rights charter

 British monarch Queen Elizabeth II is set to sign a new Commonwealth charter that backs equal rights for gay people, women and ethnic minorities.

She will sign the 16-point anti-discrimination charter as she resumes her royal duties after a week-long break due to illness here on Monday at a special ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day.

“At a Commonwealth event on Monday, the Queen will sign a charter agreed upon by the 54 members of the Commonwealth. The Queen, as in all matters, is apolitical but is signing the document in her capacity as head of the Commonwealth,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

The signing of the document has been described as a “watershed” moment because it is the first time the Queen has signalled her support for gay rights in her 61-year reign.
The charter also contains a commitment to “gender equality” and “women’s empowerment” and was agreed by all Commonwealth heads of government in December last year. It covers democracy, rule of law, international security and freedom of expression.

The 86-year-old British monarch is expected to sign the document at London’s Marlborough House, the central London headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat.