- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 10, 2013

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is set to back a pledge to protect gay rights and gender equality Monday “in one of the most controversial acts of her reign,” the Daily Mail reports.

The queen will sign the new Commonwealth Charter and make a speech on live television announcing a pledge to stamp out discrimination against homosexuals and promote the “empowerment” of women.

The charter declares: “We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds.”

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Gay rights are implied in the “other grounds” phrase, and people close of the Royal Household say the queen is aware of the interpretation. Insiders say her decision to highlight the event is a “watershed” moment, The Mail reports.

The queen is expected to stress the importance of including everyone in the declaration of human rights.

A diplomatic source added: “The impact of this statement on gay and women’s rights should not be underestimated. Nothing this progressive has ever been approved by the United Nations. And it is most unusual for the queen to request to sign documents in public, never mind call the cameras in.”

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