Queen Elizabeth Vows To Protect The LGBT Community In Speech To Parliament

And it looks like her meeting with Donald Trump is off the table.

In an address to Parliament on Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth pledged to protect the LGBT community from discrimination.

“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.”

The Queen has rarely addressed LGBT equality, though when she gave the royal assent for marriage equality in 2015, she was said to have remarked “Who’d have thought 62 years ago when I came to the throne, I’d be signing something like this? Isn’t it wonderful?'”

Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

Human rights activists have looked to the UK to take the lead on international LGBT issues, as many countries where queer people are persecuted are former British colonies that inherited homophobic laws and attitudes. (Homosexuality is still illegal in 41 out of 53 Commonwealth nations.)

Also worth noting is something the Queen didn’t say: Her address usually mentions all the upcoming state visits, but as she didn’t mention Donald Trump, it’s expected his trip has been canceled.

Prime Minister Theresa May invited the president on behalf of Her Majesty back in January, but concerns about large-scale protests—as well as Trump’s insensitive remarks about London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the terror attack on London Bridge—put that meeting on hold.

Prince Philip was admitted to the hospital with an infection and missed the Queen’s Speech. While the 96-year-old consort has suffered from ill health in recent months, Buckingham Palace says the decision was “a precautionary measure.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery