The Spanish Queen, the Reina Sofía, has got herself in to hot water with remarks she made to the journalist Pilar Urbano who has written her biography “La Reina muy de cerca”. The book has been timed to coincide with the Queen’s 70 th birthday and what are described as private conversations have apparently found their way in to print.
The main comments that have cause outrage, predictable, concern Gay Rights. According to the Spanish daily, El País, the Queen said:
"Puedo comprender, aceptar y respetar que haya personas con otra tendencia sexual, pero ¿que se sientan orgullosos por ser gays? ¿Que se suban a una carroza y salgan en manifestaciones?"
"Si esas personas quieren vivir juntas, vestirse de novios y casarse, pueden estar en su derecho, o no, según las leyes de su país: pero que a eso no le llamen matrimonio, porque no lo es. Hay muchos nombres posibles: contrato social, contrato de unión."
The Reina Sofía said quite clearly that she understands, accepts and respects people who are Gay. She also accepted that Gays should be able to enter in to stable legal relationships. The fact that she does not feel those relationships should be called marriages is very much in line with her Catholic beliefs. Indeed many of the 1.13 billion Catholics in the world would agree with her.
I know of another consort to a monarch, also curiously from a Greek upbringing, who would probably consider her acceptance of Gays to be an anathema.
Having been employed in the media for most of my working life I have always worked alongside women and Gays - on an equal basis. I have never discriminated against either group and have no time for those who believe one or both groups are inferior to men.
I have no time for Gay rights or any other such movement either.
I believe we are all equal and that we should be treated on an equal basis regardless of our sex, race, colour, age, wealth, religion, politics or sexual orientation. That is the equality I believe in and the equality I have always spoken out for.
I have no time for people who would put down women or Gays. I equally have no time for women or Gays who would put themselves above all others.
I have no time for people or groups that confuse equality with superiority.
The day we stop pandering to those who are only interested in themselves can not come too soon.
Nor can the day come soon enough when we accept true human rights for all – and mean it!