Cartoon: By ‘Baloo’
In a world of strife, fiscal crises and upheaval, it is nice to know that there is one nation that has it all sorted and can worry about the mundane issues of the future:
Next week parliament will vote on the thorny issue of titles for married gay partners. They will be asked to clear up laws dating as far back as 700 years. The changes are needed to ensure a gay married King could not style his husband Queen.
Under the previous arrangements of Civil Partnerships gay partners were not allowed courtesy titles as their unions were not deemed full marriage. This is the reason Sir Elton John’s partner David Furnish is not entitled to the dubious honour of being known as “Lady John”.
Once full gay marriage comes in next month gay Dukes could claim the title Duchess for their partners. This would also be true of other courtesy titles such as Princess of Wales, Countess and Lady.
One of the stranger proposed changes is to the 1351 Treason Act. It forbids sex with the Kings wife, but the proposed law will make clear that it is legal to have sex with his husband. This is presumably because such an act would not interfere with the Royal lineage, whereas sex with the Kings wife risks illegitimate children.
Given time, this issue would probably sort itself out without directives from government, but that approach would give MPs one less thing to feel important about. Nonetheless, it would probably always be rather un-PC to refer to a male marital partner as a queen, although it nay be OK for a lesbian marital partner to be called a king.