Prince William & Kate refuse to sign on to Benedict Cumberbatch’s petition


If you’ve been following Benedict Cumberbatch’s Oscar campaign, you know that he has been ferociously defending the memory of the late Alan Turing, the man who broke the German Enigma and “won the war.” Turing was a gay man, and after the war, he was prosecuted for indecency and forced to take estrogen injections. It might seem easy enough to say “Eh, it was a different time,” but the UK prosecuted tens of thousands of homosexuals for decades in the 20th century and a lot of people still remember a time when being gay could land you in jail.

Anyway, Turing was posthumously issued a pardon by prime minister Gordon Brown, and then in 2013, the Queen also issued a royal pardon for Turing. Now Benedict and Stephen Fry are launching a campaign for the 49,000 other homosexual men to be pardoned. They started a petition and it’s getting a lot of attention. They were hoping to get some kind of royal sponsorship, specifically from Prince William and Duchess Kate, but Will and Kate aren’t interested.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have declined to publicly back a campaign that seeks to pardon tens of thousands of gay men prosecuted along with codebreaker Alan Turing. Campaigners, including Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry, have called on Prince William and his wife Kate to “acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand”.

Cumberbatch, who has been nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Turing in The Imitation Game , wants 49,000 other men convicted for their sexuality to be pardoned like the pioneering computer scientist. Turing committed suicide in 1954, two years after being convicted of gross indecency for being gay.

In an open letter to the Government seeking action, campaigners call for the Royal Family to act and convince the Government to pardon those convicted. But a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said that as this is a matter for government they would not make any public comment on the issue.

[From Yahoo News]

The petition has already been signed by 40,000 people. By their estimates, about 15,000 of these “guilty of being homosexual” men are still alive, so it’s not even like we’re several generations removed or anything. As for Kate and William specifically and their unwillingness to get involved… it’s a shame, really. This is a political “win.” I’m sure their advisors are telling them not to get involved, that it’s too sensitive or whatever, but I think making a stand for the men mistreated by the government would be a no-brainer. It would be largely symbolic, sure, except for those 15,000 men still alive. But symbols matter. I don’t believe William is unwilling to stand up for gay people, by the way. It’s not even that he doesn’t care about this specific issue. It’s that he doesn’t care about nearly every issue out there. He just seems to lack passion about everything.


Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty.

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194 Responses to “Prince William & Kate refuse to sign on to Benedict Cumberbatch’s petition”

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  1. Betti says:

    These men should have been pardoned anyway but kudos to the campaign and shame on the DoLittles for not getting behind it.

    On a much more cynical note – Bendy give it up, you are NOT going to win the Oscar, this petition isn’t going to win you any votes (and it won’t white wash your recent choice of wording whoopsie) so please just go away and take your devotional love with you!

    • ShinyGrenade says:

      Geeeeeeeeeeez. Don’t think he is doing it for Oscar, rather becuz it’s the right thing to do.

      What happen was a shame. Just imagine the progress loss in a lot of field with what happen to Alan Turing. Think of all the other men that have been persecuted.

      • UltraViolet says:

        If he wasn’t doing it just for the Oscar, the timing is very suspect. After all, these men were convicted years ago. He could have campaigned for them last year….or next year…or even later this year….but somehow chose to campaign precisely when when he was up for an Oscar.

      • Tea and Dumplings says:

        Do you really think he expects the oscar At this point? Come on.

        Maybe it’s the opposite: maybe he is using the natural visibility he has right now as an Oscar nominee to bring coverage and visibility to this issue and the petition. He won’t get the award, but if he could help get this to happen, that would be a great thing.

        Would you rather he not support this petition? That would be weird, don’t you think?

      • J says:

        I cant even with some of the responses here

        his campaign is dead, and he absolutely would have been a dick to not support this petition

      • anon says:

        He’s not doing this publicity for the Oscar….he’s doing This publicity for the Bafta! Same difference but its a good cause none the less.

    • Dhavynia says:

      I think that’s a little too harsh. There are a lot celebrities who take up after a cause after being portrayed on film. I don’t follow him much but I don’t believe he is the type that would do all this just for an Oscar or because he used the wrong words in an interview

      • icerose says:

        The royals are not allowed to comment or interfere with what is essentially a government decision. Of course Benny knew this but it makes for good publicity.
        This campaign existed before Benny was on about stamps and banknotes in his Oscar campaign and he has shameless jumped on the bandwagon when his other strategies have not gathered momentum, I think he and Fry have done some kind of deal-you support pardons for all and I will give some PR to your ten dollar bill gambit.
        His ego is growing faster than Sophie’s bump and billowing dresses.

      • Gracie says:

        @icerose, I think you’re right. It’s a win-win situation: Fry gets publicity for his campaign, BC jumps in the middle to help the campaign of his own. In fact, I’d give this getting royals to sign the petition more credibility if it’s been submitted to Charles, submitting to Will and Kate sounds almost as if he expected they wouldn’t sign it.

      • Megan says:

        Benny knew and so did the rest of us. Post should have “Benny trolls royals to get publicity”.

      • notasugarhere says:

        There are ways to support gay rights without publicly stating it or signing on to a petition, and W&K should know that. The first meeting King Felipe and Queen Letizia had after they ascended included reps from NGOs and social agencies. For the first time, LGBT organizations were included. In 2013 CP Victoria handed out the award for the 10th anniversary Swedish LGBT Person of the Year, etc. Harry privately and publicly supported a fellow serviceman who was being bullied (by other service men) for being gay.

        W&K could have found a way to support this without overstepping, but were too busy 1) not caring and 2) rolling over to tan their lazy asses.

      • KT says:

        Surely some of you must be joking?

        It doesn’t matter if they can’t sign it. They’re more progressive than Charles or the Queen and will be bothered by not being able to sign image-wise nor will they just ignore it, like I suspect Charles or the Queen would.

        Now, it will find its way to someone in government who can do something about it rather quickly–like the royally-appointed Lord Chancellor.

      • notasugarhere says:

        What makes you think they’re more progressive than Charles or HM? Honestly. W&K don’t scream modern, progressive, or innovative to me

      • Sixer says:

        KT: the Lord Chancellor is a political appointment. “Appointed by the Queen” is just a symbolic thing. Her Maj assents to a political appointment by the government of the day. Honestly: everything in your comment is just not how it is at all.

      • Megan says:

        ILGA-Europe rates the UK #1 in Europe for LGBT equality. W+K are not ignoring present discrimination, they are just not responding to a request to jump on the bandwagon with Cumberbatch.

        Good on Steven Fry for working to right past wrongs, but to suggest W+K are somehow wrong or immoral for not joining him is simply looking for a reason to criticize people you don’t like.

      • gg says:

        Benedict has been quoted as saying the pardon for Turing was too little too late, so why bother campaigning to pardon these other men? The laws were abolished in 1967 so most of them are dead; it is purely symbolic. Weinstein has a history of this. Philomena Lee testified in Congress to liberalize adoption laws (at least she had a personal connection there), Bradley Cooper lobbied for mental health reform, DDL for people with physical disabilities. All during Oscar campaigns for Weinstein movies. And DDL did it in 1989 and was probably the first so if other studios are doing it now they GOT the idea from Weinstein and Weinstein has perfected it

      • notasugarhere says:

        100 hate crimes against LGBT reported per week in the UK.

        1 in 6 members of the LGBT community in the UK has been the victim of a hate crime.

        Even if the UK tops the polls of “best of” it is best of a pretty poor showing.

      • KT says:

        @Sixer: I’m aware it’s symbolic. However, that doesn’t change the fact that they can bring the government’s attention to something in private (or that something like draws the government’s attention in general because it drew the public’s). They absolutely have a relationship with the government despite some attempts to keep it hidden.

        And yes, Will and Kate obviously want to be seen as more progressive royals. Doesn’t mean they are personally.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Again, what makes you think they want to be perceived as “progressive”? The only changes I’ve seen with them is their idea of doing far fewer engagements to “make their work be more impactful” — a really creative way of justifying laziness.

      • J says:

        eh it really doesn’t matter what their relationship or image is, it’s easy to see why this would be done from a PR perspective if youre trying to get the public’s attention

        and it worked, the petition nearly doubled in signatures in a day

      • bluhare says:

        nas, I do think that they would like to be seen as being progressive — at least they appeared that way when they got married. Remember, curtseying optional and having people call them by their first names, along with no staff? I remember articles around that time saying pretty much that. Then of course was the article last year or whenever that had William yelling at the staff (that they don’t have) for not giving Kate proper respect. So who knows.

        But I did try that FABULOUS excuse here at work. My work would have so much more impact if I did less of it! They are still laughing.

      • notasugarhere says:

        bluhare, ah yes, we’re normal and don’t have any staff. Oops, 27 office staff plus housekeeper, nannies, etc. The “semi-state” (no such thing) wedding where they were going to invite the general public (never happened) and left the royal guests on their own (HM had to pick up the slack and plan an event for them). The guard who was fired for telling people Middleton was stuck up and lorded it over staff, etc.

      • Megan says:

        NOTA – for a little perspective, there are 130 hate crimes per DAY against racial and ethnic minorities in Britian and Wales.

      • notasugarhere says:

        What depressing perspective. Point stands: They may be rated tops for LGBT, but the numbers show they have a long way to go. It appears they also have a long way to go in regards to racial and ethnic minorities. All while W&K fritter away their lives refusing to step up and try to help.

    • Luca76 says:

      It’s obviously an instance where the PR happens to match the right thing to do. Funny on another film and award site weeks back before even the Globes I read that people don’t realize that Eddie Redmayne is actually doing a bunch more campaigning than Cumberbatch.
      Redmayne has cleared his schedule and doing a ton of events and is actually meeting Academy members whereas Cumberbatch is too busy so he’s doing all this press to compensate.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Luca76, Not sure what Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar campaigning has to do with this?

      • Luca76 says:

        I think BC is getting a lot of criticism for his campaigning. I just thought I’d compare it with the more succesful Redmayne who is doing it the ‘right way’ in a more dignified behind the scenes way.

      • icerose says:

        yes but Eddie id doing quietly without putting all the razza ma tazz. He is not making grandiose statements to get publicity and basically making sure his picture is circulating constantly. I think the level of which he has use Turing to support his Oscar campaign is actually insulting to Turing and his memory especially as a lot of the film is complete fabrication.
        He never points people to gay organisations that have been working for years to stop persecution and bullying. It is all about his campaign for Turing and all of a sudden he is the all mighty leader of campaigns and it sucks

      • J says:

        pretty unreasonable, icerose, considering cumberbatch has been involved in a lot of causes, movie or not, and he often sticks with them (cancer, MNDA, etc.). a lot of actors are exposed to causes because of movies

      • An says:

        Cumberbatch and Redmayne’s campaigns both annoyed me. To be fair, Redmayne’s campaign is also obnoxious if you followed it, TTOE sucked and was largely inaccurate, and Redmayne never said boo about MND until his campaign.

        That being said, all the best picture noms that were ‘real life’ had glaring inaccuracies, the worst being American Sniper and Foxcatcher, so I don’t hold that against him. Same with him not talking about MND before this. There’s a million causes out there, some type of focused exposure is usually necessary.

        BC’s actor campaign clearly had a death kneel at GG and died at the SAGs. He’s bowed out, and saying no to doing this would have been a crap move no matter how you try and turn it. Might as well do something good out of it.

    • Mia4S says:

      Wow, the cynical bitching is out in force today. It’s incredibly common for Hollywood types to get involved in issues brought up by these Oscar movies (I suppose you think Spielberg started “Survivors of the Shoah” to secure his trophy?)

      Is Cumby being totally benevolent? Probably not. But who cares! Most people didn’t know the first thing about Turing (and many knew nothing about the indecency laws) before this. If these pardons happen who cares if Weinstein and his gang get to feel a bit important (next best thing to an Oscar). Whatever works!

      • FLORC says:

        Just a reminder of where you are and what this site is called…

      • notasugarhere says:

        🙂 at FLORC

      • Mia4S says:

        Oh @FLORC I know exactly where I am. But “He’s just using dead gay men to get a trophy”? Damn, that’s not so much bitchy as gross. Let’s stick with the he knocked a girl up for the nomination. At least that’s funny! I also don’t get why some seem to think it’s uncommon for actors to do this?Angelina Jolie started her whole UN thing because of that awful movie she was in with Clive Owen. Beyond Borders. God that was awful.

        I’m going to try and comment on Will and Kate without falling asleep; they… zzzzzzzzzz.

    • Someonestolemyname says:

      William and Kate are too busy hiring yet Another Nanny and Holidaying.

    • annieanne says:

      The royal family, especially the heir to the heir, DO NOT get publicly involved in politics. They can quietly lobby behind the scenes but becoming the public face of controversial issues — and I bet this is still somewhat controversial or the government would have pardoned them already — is a sure way to get the monarchy hated by a good chunk of the citizenry.
      And none of us know what private conversations anybody in the royal family is having with government ministers on this subject.

    • Flan says:

      @notasugarhere: well said.

      They are the least attractive monarch-to-be couple in Europe. They also seem the least empathic and most disinterested.

      Just very meh.

  2. INeedANap says:

    He has passion for hunting exotic animals and living the easy life, so there’s that.

    • kcarp says:

      Imagine your life is all about convincing the press you do more than just chill. You would think all the time he has to just chill he would be happier in his dealings with the “little” people.

  3. Lindy79 says:

    Apparently they have never gotten behind things like this so I dunno.

    As much as I think this is needed, I wonder will Harvey Weinstein still care once the Oscars are over. Fry has been a campaigner for years but Weinstein only cares because of his movie, in my opinion. Will he really hand back his CBE as he said he would? Has he campaigned for gay rights in the past?

    • Jegede says:

      They never have as it opens them up to accusations of government interference.

      The exact stuff the Independent newspaper (who ironically published this story) LOVE to trash the Royals over, in their republican agenda.

      They’ve declined many campaigns over the years but this is getting attention because of Cumberbatch’s celebrity and opportunism.
      But the hate will go in as usual

      • Megan says:

        +1,000 they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t

      • Lindy79 says:

        That’s what I felt was going on, that they couldn’t even if they wanted to.
        That’s his future invite to the Palace rescinded anyway..

    • icerose says:

      The royals are not allowed to comment or interfere with what is essentially a government decision. Of course Benny knew this but it makes for good publicity.
      This campaign existed before Benny was on about stamps and banknotes in his Oscar campaign and he has shameless jumped on the bandwagon when his other strategies have not gathered momentum, I think he and Fry have done some kind of deal-you support pardons for all and I will give some PR to your ten dollar bill gambit.
      His ego is growing faster than Sophie’s bump and billowing dresses.


  4. Charlotte says:

    What exactly are these two pathetic people doing for us again? Sod off, Baldrick. Over these royal tosspots. Wills &Kate, go away.

  5. I think this petition/pardon idea is GREAT. Even if the men themselves are dead, it would be nice gesture for the government, at the very least, to send letters to their closest (non homophobic) relatives to apologize for them being thrown in jail/beaten/killed for being themselves. It doesn’t make up for it, but it’s a start.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Totally agree. I hope it happens. I’ll sign it!

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Word. I hate when people use the “Well, it can’t undo things so let’s do nothing.” argument. It’s ridiculous. Apologizing is the LEAST one can do.

    • icerose says:

      It us a great idea but he has just jumped on an existing campaign.
      Using Turing for his film/Oscar campaign sucks and for me the whole campaign has hit a all time low.

      • J says:

        he aint winning at this point and he knows it, icerose, everyone does. it’s the right thing to do

        and yeah, it’s a government decision, but getting at the more liberal royals gives it a push. and yeah, as mentioned above, there’s ways around stuff for the royals when they want to support something–granted they may do so in private

      • icerose says:

        @J the royals are nit allowed to get involved. There is of criticism going around because Charles has been writing to government officials to try and influence then and it goes beyond his constructional role.The royals are there to support charities and be figurehead symbols for tourism not to interfere with government policy.

    • M says:

      +1. And I like that this campaign & movie are bringing attention to what these men went through. Jail & injections for having adult consensual sex?! Ugh! And I liked that the article pointed out that it wasn’t that long ago. I think people think “that’s ancient history so forget about it. What’s the point” We’ve come a long way & still have a long way to go.

  6. TTee says:

    It’s all a bit lame really but they opened up Pandora’s box by the cynical pardoning of Turing. One should be pardoned when it becomes apparent that was all long innocent. Turing however was guilty, guilty of a bad law of course but we’ve dealt with that by repealing it. That he was a great guy, a genius mathematician and a hero of the WWII war effort doesn’t mean he wasn’t guilty of a law that, unfortunately we think, stood on statute book at the time. But once you’ve pardoned Turing, on principle you don’t have much of an argument for pardoning all of the rest. What this does to the integrity of the law is a worrying question. Get convicted of something now, no problem you are only temporarily guilty until someones change the law you just broke. It should go without saying that this is at odds with a thousand year history of English common law and makes that law an ass. It’s not as simple as it comes across really..

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      It really is that simple though. They committed a “crime” that was no crime at all, meaning there were no victims. Nobody was hurt. By your logic, what exactly should we have done after WWII? Everybody who was “guilty” of being Jewish or belonging to the wrong political party or a “social deviant” should just deal? Because technically, they committed a crime according to the law of the time. By existing. So yes, it really is that easy.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I disagree. This is an extreme case, where the law condemned people for being who they were. It was inhumane and cruel, and asked the impossible. People were arrested and convicted for something over which they had no control. Yes, it was the law of the time, just as interracial marriage used to be illegal in the US. We have changed and grown, and we should be ashamed of these parts of our past. They were unjust, and injustice should be rectified when possible. It’s not an excuse that”well, that was the law and they broke it.” We have to do better.

      • icerose says:

        so did they pardon all of those convicted for inter racial marriage??

      • Red says:

        @GNAT You are mistaken, the law did not condemn people for being homosexual. It condemned them for same sex acts. In other words, not all the people convicted were homosexual and not all homosexuals were convicted. The offence required specific acts to have occurred. Now we can agree that by a 21st century lens this was an unjust law but it would be incorrect to say that they were convicted for ”something over which they had no control”.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ Red: That is nitpicking at its worst though.

      • Red says:


        Good thing you are not a lawyer then. Attention to wording is not just ”nitpicking”. Just because its a popular cause doesnt mean our brains should shut down.

        Anyway, Gnat is throwing in a very common (and extremely emotive) argument that is manifestly false. Its built to trigger outrage rather than reflection by proposing that this unjust law was even more unjust than the many many others we now frown at simply because it punished an immutable trait rather than an action. So when we ask why we are not posthumously pardoning people found guilty of defying miscegenation laws or blasphemy laws or gender rights activists or communists or trade unionists, we are told that THOSE issues are different because they were not being tried for something ”they couldnt help”. Well neither were these men, they were convicted for very specific acts and not for simply being attracted to men. It wasnt enough to say ”the defendant likes guys, lock him up”, you had to prove a specific incident where he performed a prohibited act with another man. In fact many of our current rules of evidence were born out of these cases.

        The problem with these emotive issues is that all reason goes out the window. This is by no means a straight forward issue, it has serious implications to jurisprudence and it undermines several principles in law.

      • FLORC says:

        I’m thinking you know better, but are giving a very literal interpretation.
        These laws are protecting the intent by using different wording. Being gay isn’t illegal, but enjoying being and not keeping it so secret is.

        ittlemiss is right. It’s a clear case of nitpicking.

      • Red says:


        You do realise that there were straight men convicted under the legislation too, right? Sex workers, sexually curious straight men, sex addicts who werent picky etc. Being attracted to other men was never a requirement just the commission of a sex act with a person of the same sex. Nobody was convicted for merely stating that he liked men.

        And I’ve stated it before but I’ll state it again. One of the main reasons why there is no petition to pardon all the people convicted under the old blasphemy laws for instance, is because the advocates for this cause are using a false claim to invoke emotion.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @ Red: Well, thank you for being super mature about this I guess.

        If you want to really be THAT specific, let’s do it right. Communists and activists fight for their views on something. You see a cause and you see what you perceive as right or wrong and fight for/against it. You usually fight to actually change laws. That is NOT the same as defying a law that in effect punishes you for being who you are. It doesn’t punish you for BEING gay, no. It’s worse actually. You can be whoever you are but God forbid you actually act on it. The only reason this law existed in this form was because it’s impossible to prove someone’s gay without there being an act to prove it. So yes, in effect, people were punished for living their lives according to who they are. Laws are always subject to interpretation and that has nothing to do with me not being a lawyer (I do work for a few though).

        And btw, this is not a new concept. You mentioned blasphemy laws so I’m sure you know what happened with the case of Galileo Galilei. We changed out minds, so did the Catholic church. And those people are not prone to being overly emotional when it comes to admitting and rectifying their mistakes. He broke a law and we’ve since decided that he was right after all. He was rehabilitated and we do this ALL the time. We look back on history and decide that we f*cked up. Where exactly is the difference?

      • LAK says:

        Florc: for once we are on opposite sides of the argument. Red is right. It’s the wording that’s important. The law was written to criminalise same sex ACTS, not homosexuality in otherwords, a law against a very specific action as opposed to a concept. The law wasn’t rounding up people suspected of being homosexuals. It rounded up anyone suspected of indulging in same sex acts whatever their orientation. However, even when accused, the court had to have evidence of the acts as opposed to simply pointing at the accused as a homosexual.

      • bluhare says:

        Just out of curiosity were women targeted as well?

      • FLORC says:

        So this was to mainly punish those who did the act and not primarily homosexuals?

        And I am agreeing with your whole comment. It’s pretty much what I intended to say.
        I’m just still on the side that acts more commonly associated with something disapproved of is a way of making it tougher for those people who would indulge to do so.
        Like to also stop temptation or you might realise you’re into that.
        That straight people would also be found guilty just falls in line with stopping temptation. Imo anyways, That’s how I’ve always read into this stuff.

      • Megan says:

        I don’t know the arcana of British law, but I think it would be nice for the government to recognize that our understanding of human sexuality is sufficiently evolved to acknowledge these laws were damaging and hurtful to so many.

        Just thought is was worth mentioning …

        The last anti-miscegenation law in the U. S. was repealed by the state of Alabama in 2000. Anti-sodomy laws were fully enforceable until the Lawrence vs. Texas Supreme Court ruling in 2003.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You have a minor point, that the acts were illegal, not homosexuality itself. It makes no difference to me, and is rather a pointless argument. Who engages In homosexual acts? Homosexuals. I stand by my argument, and think you are just trying to find justification for your hatred. I’m glad you’re not my lawyer.

      • Megan says:

        GNAT – wow, so much for a difference of opinion. A correct reading of the law doesn’t make Red a hater. I think raising the question of the implications of pardons for those convicted under laws that no longer stand is actually an interesting conversation. Just because you disagree doesn’t make it unworthy of consideration.

    • Red says:

      I agree, I dont know how somebody is smart as Stephen Fry cant see how ridiculous this is. There have been thousands of ill advised laws over the centuries (some very recent) that have now been repealed, shall we pardon those too or is this only for this specific crime? And if so, why this only? Why not the laws that targeted Trade Unionists or Suffragettes for example?

      In any case, a pardon doesnt accomplish even its symbolic aims seeing as it is a tacit acknowledgement that they did do wrong. It just says you guys broke the law but we forgive you now. You are tried under the laws of the time, so its not like you can hit some Crime Delete button. I hope there are no discussions to get Parliament involved, I can think of few things more dangerous than retroactive legislating.

      Turing should not have been pardoned, his conviction should have stood as a stain against the conscience of that generation, period. William is right not to wade into this mess.

      • icerose says:

        good point about the suffragettes

      • profdanglais says:

        I think the difference is that being a trade unionist or a suffragette is voluntary, whereas being gay is just who you are. Making people’s very natures illegal is particularly and poignantly unjust, and these pardons would be an official acknowledgement of that injustice and I think another important step towards complete equality and acceptance of homosexuality.

      • Red says:


        I’ve just responded to a similar claim upthread. And you actually prove my point, too many people weighing in have very little understanding of the issue. The law very specifically prohibited same sex acts. It did not criminalise being same sex attractions. To obtain a conviction, the prosecutor had to present evidence of a specific act, he couldnt come to court with a “your honor this guy likes guys”.

        Another thing, these pardons are not a ”step towards equality”. Equality is attained by a change of law and culture, not by creating an uneven treatment of past injustices. Not by upholding one class of unjustly treated individuals above all the others who suffered under other bad laws because their issue is not the popular topic of the day.

      • profdanglais says:

        @Red, I did read what you said up thread, and I understand the situation perfectly well, thank you. I understand your argument as well, and agree with it to an extent, just not in this case. You accuse me and those who agree with me of being emotive, and my rejoinder is, Yeah, and what of it? This is an emotive issue. Banning homosexual acts is fundamentally no different from banning homosexuality; if heterosexual acts were banned tomorrow, would you instantly become celibate? Really? What if that ban came inextricably coupled with revulsion and rejection of your very nature? If you had to spend every moment pretending you were something else? You really wouldn’t seek any comfort or freedom to be yourself, even knowing it was illegal? Yes, there have been other bad laws in the past, and no, not everyone who broke those laws should be pardoned. But not all bad laws are created equal, and this one was so uniquely unjust and cruel that it needs to be redressed. Perhaps a more nuanced view of laws and justice is called for?

      • icerose says:

        suffragettes were fighting laws which impacted on their lives and were bully and persecuted through the judicial system so I think the deserve the same pardons that the people prosecuted under the sexual acts law receive,

      • Flan says:

        People who suffered under laws that are now considered to be wrong should be rehabilitated in my opinion.

        I don’t care how many of those laws there were. Especially people who are still alive should be given a measure of peace. That is way more important than any other consideration.

        Laws are never neutral unemotional things. Many laws were created by groups of people to legitimately oppress others.

    • icerose says:

      I think it brings up issues around compensation but it should go ahead,
      But not a pardon. If you break a law just or not you are guilty .
      They need to exonerate them along side an apology. This absolves them from any blame and can them come off any official records.
      It does bring up other areas like people who were suffering from shell shock in WW1 when it was as yet not recognised who were sent back into battle despite their inability to cope. Many of the ran and were then tried for desertion and shot .Do they get retrospect pardon’s as well

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        They can’t be exonerated if they were gay. That makes no sense if you say “If you break a law you are guilty.” I get why people feel uneasy about a pardon but that’s really all that can be done (with the exception of an apology).

      • J says:

        exoneration is still absolving someone of wrongdoing

        pardon is unfortunate but the easiest way to deal with this without passing new legislation

      • Kori says:

        I think many of those shot for desertion were later pardoned weren’t they?

      • Kori says:

        Just checked–it was announced in Aug 2006 that all 300+ men shot for cowardice in WW1 were to be pardoned.

    • Lucrezia says:

      I said this below, but I think it needs to go up here too.

      A pardon in the UK means you were innocent of the act, not that the law was wrong. When they pardoned Turing it means they’re saying Turing never had homosexual sex. (Yes this is daft, but it is what they did.)

      It’s a peculiarity of UK law, and it’s the complete opposite to a US-style pardon (where a pardon means you were guilty but are forgiven … people have refused pardons because they want to maintain their innocence).

      So a pardon makes sense in the US, but a UK pardon sends the utterly wrong message.

      Edit to add: I think Icerose is right with “exonerate”. It means absolving someone from blame. So make that a brand new legal term – anyone convicted of a law that is overturned on moral grounds can be “exonerated” … acknowledge that they committed the act but that the act itself is no longer considered a crime.

      • An says:

        Legally, a pardon is the most efficient way of dealing with it, unfortunately.

      • J says:

        @ Lucrezia–“exonerate” means you were innocent of the crime. doesn’t work here

        look, no one likes pardon, but it is the way this type of stuff is usually dealt with since you don’t have to draft entirely new laws and processes

      • Lucrezia says:

        Look, if it was causing hardship for anyone then I’d say sure, go with the quick and easy pardon. But there’s existing legislation whereby a person they can apply to have a previous conviction expunged from their criminal record. So I don’t see any reason to do it the fast but messy way.

        It just seems … kind of disrespectful? If you screwed up and want to fix it, then you’re obligated to do a good job with the fixing. In my head it goes something like: “okay, we’ll just pretend you all never had gay sex. Everyone is pardoned. So we’re cool now right?” To which my response would be: “Hell no! Now I’m more offended than I was before.”

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ J – are you sure? I know it means that in the US, but in Australia the technical term is “quashed” when we talk about overturning a conviction, and I thought the UK was the same. (google is supporting me on that, with far more results for “UK quashed” than “UK exonerated”.) We do say exonerate casually, but if you look at any report that’s using fancy technical terms it’s always “quashed”.

      • an says:

        Lucrezia, the UK has “spent convictions” but not expungements like the US. The conviction becomes ‘spent’ after a period of time automatically, so it no longer shows up on background checks, but it’s still there.

        There’s been court cases where adults have gotten records as minors removed, but those were all without court sentences on conviction.

      • J says:

        @ Lucrezia–yeah, “quashed” is still overturning a conviction as in they didnt do what they were convicted of, which doesnt work here

        i honestly cant think of any other way to handle but a pardon, in which you can say the law was unjust for the record and those affected can get some compensation

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ An – This calls for a citation I prepared earlier 😉
        (Probably should’ve linked it again in the first place.)

        Since 2012, you can indeed get a conviction for homosexual acts expunged. (Well, they’re calling it “disregarded” but it’s a total wiping, not like a spent conviction.)

        Clause 86 confirms the effect of a successful application would ensure the person is considered as having not committed, nor been charged, prosecuted or convicted of a homosexual act.

        (Note: I have the same moral qualms about that as for the pardon … in this case the law literally states the effect is to find that you never had homosexual sex.)

      • An says:

        @ Lucrezia–correct me if I’m wrong, but the problem there is that doesn’t make any allowances for deceased people. The person convicted has to apply.

        Making them apply seems crappy too, honestly.

      • Lucrezia says:

        I agree that the 2012 law does nothing for posthumous cases (here in Oz there is at least a provision for family members to apply for posthumous expungement). But posthumous cases are kind of irrelevant to my point.

        Just to reiterate: I’m not saying I like the current law, I don’t. (I maybe dislike it even more than you, since I’m hung up on the fact it pretends past homosexual acts never happened in the first place.) My whole point is that there’s no urgent need to fix this ASAP (with a problematic pardon), and that they should stop and do it the right way. (Postumous cases count as “not urgent”, imo.) Invent a new thing where the UK has a way to admit the law was utterly wrong rather than pardon/disregard/expunge/quash (I’d want the conviction to stay on the records, but under some new category where it’s automatically recognised as something that should never have been illegal in the first place.) I know that’s ridiculously complicated, and will take a lot of time, but I think the 2012 bill is enough to tide things over for the moment.

        Re having to apply. I honestly thought that way at first. Then I realised that there’d almost certainly be cases of people who DON’T want their record changed/expunged, and would prefer to wear it as a battle scar. So I’m currently leaning towards thinking application is better than automatic. If it has to be a pardon (i.e., I can’t get the imaginary perfect fix I’m pushing for), I’m not sure whether posthumous cases should be left as-is, available by application or fully automatic. There’s decent arguments on each side, my opinion keeps flip-flopping.

    • Flower says:

      @Bluhare, I don’t think there actually was a law related to women engaging in same sex acts, I believe it had to do with Queen Victoria adamantly refusing to sign off on the proposed law as she simply refused to believe that women would engage in such practices. So the powers that be just settled for convicting men.

  7. Maum says:

    See I don’t get how this could be seen as ‘sensitive’ in any way.

    The fact that you even need a petition to get people to act is sad.

    By the way how about posting a story on Stephen Fry’s fabulous defense of atheism. It’s gone viral!

  8. Jessica says:

    Why wouldn’t they just sign it? Great PR opportunity requiring only a few seconds work. Seems right up their alley.

  9. Jules says:

    Signing a petition? Sounds too much like work for those 2.

    • Ncboudicca says:

      Diamond-encrusted pens are quite heavy, doncha know?

    • icerose says:

      They dis the only thing they could under the current arrangements re the role of the monarchy and both Fry and Benny new this. It was just a publicity stunt.

      • An says:

        Wow, did you comment this everywhere or what? JFC.

        Try it’s the right thing to do and they were asked to support it. Everyone knows TIG is out of the race already, and actors getting involved in something after being exposed to it in a role is nothing new (ala Cumberbatch being involved with MND for 10 years now).

        Also, this puts more pressure on the government to do something, fyi. That’s why you send something to the royals. Doesn’t matter that they can’t sign it, the attention makes it something to be addressed instead of ignored.

      • icerose says:

        yes and it could have waited till after the Oscars-sorry it is just to convenient-he could have pointed people toward the campaign right at the beginning instead of grand standing about his gay support.

      • An says:

        Tell Matthew Breen of The Advocate that, he’s the one who started it early last week and reached out to celebs for help.

        Prior pardon campaigns gained zero traction and have been dead in the water for years. Christ, even the one just for Turing in 2011 was ignored.

        The public has a short attention span, that’s why the best time for stuff like this is when something related is still in their minds.

  10. Sixer says:

    Presumably, they think it’s a non-alignment, no-lobbying issue. It’s the same issue as the potential controversy if Charles’s lobbying letters ever get published. William’s a direct heir and the UK is a constitutional monarchy. I think the issue at hand (pardons for convicted gay men) is irrelevant. It’s a separation of powers thing and this is a legislature issue. The Royals are constitutionally bound to stay away.

    • Lindy79 says:

      Thanks Sixer, I genuinely don’t think them not signing is because they don’t agree with it but there are many factors at play here.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes. Constitutionally-speaking, they would be free to speak about/in support of Turing, who has already been pardoned by parliament. They could, for example, sign a petition in favour of a public monument to him. But they’re not free to support or speak against potential/future parliamentary proceedings, as a blanket pardon would be.

      • Sharon Lea says:

        Absolutely agree, as much as they might want to sign it, they can’t because of how it may appear to be getting into a political situation. Charles has had many articles written about his ‘meddling’ and spider letters that he writes privately to politicians. The Queen isn’t expected to sign the petition and one day, presumably, William will be king.

        We know Harry is cool with this topic, remember in June 2013 the story came out when he defended a gay soldier, Lance Corporal James Wharton, from 6 guys? Its too bad he couldn’t sign it, but he’s under the same scrutiny, even though he will likely never be king.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Thanks, Sixer, that’s how I interpreted it and it’s nice to have it confirmed.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, I think they have to, and should have to, keep their noses out of any legislation.

    • icerose says:

      @Sixer that is right back in the old days Philip and now Charles to some degree have come under Criticism for speaking out on judicial and governmental decisions.And you can bet Benny and Fry new that before they wrote the letter. It was a publicity stunt nothing more. Benny has jumped on the band wagon and Fry as much as I love him uses this type of letter for publicity than for results.
      I think rather tan pardon they should exonerate them from blame and couple it with a formal apology.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        So, is Fry (and BC) going to badger William about it during the BAFTA ceremony?

      • An says:

        They don’t have to.

        The point of addressing the royals is to get attention if something is being ignored, since they do have ties to government.

      • icerose says:

        so why is everyone attacking Will and Kate not really fair on them. I do not mind it when they write to prime ministers etc but this just felt so unfair.

  11. Amelie says:

    It’s their choice whether to sign or not.

  12. Gwen says:

    Are they allowed to? Charles is getting a lot of trouble for meddling (or trying to meddle) with political questions. It could be that that’s holding them back.

  13. Lucrezia says:

    I’m not sure I agree with a pardon. If you look into what pardon actually means, then it’s not actually an automatic no-brainer. There’s going to be some UK/US translation issues I think.

    In UK law, a pardon is given when you’re innocent of the crime. It’s the complete opposite to US law where a pardon involves an admission of guilt. For the US system a pardon makes sense, they were technically guilty but the law was stupid, thus a pardon. But if you pardon them under a UK-style system you’re technically saying they were never homosexual to begin with. Which misses the whole flaming point.

    In 2012, there was a bill passed that means anyone convicted of that old law can apply for the conviction to be disregarded. You have to apply, it’s not automatic. And it’s got the same problem as a pardon: a successful application means the person is “considered as having not committed, nor been charged, prosecuted or convicted of a homosexual act.”

    There was a formal mass apology by the UK government (2009?). That was a start. I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not 100% sure how to phrase what I think the next step should be. Something where the government admits the old law was wrong, and automatically (application not required) removes any “criminality” associated with that law. (Is that a thing? Can it be done?) But do keep it on the books unless people specifically request that it’s expunged – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some people were perversely proud of it and want to wear it with honour, like a battle scar … or at the very least, not want it swept under the mat. (Does that make sense?)

    • Sixer says:

      Yes to all that. And yes, it makes sense. But wasn’t the expunging law Australia only?

      • Lucrezia says:

        Nope, definitely yours. (Part 5).

        It’s state-based here, and a couple of states have passed expungement bills, but the rest haven’t. Our pardon system seems to be somewhere between the US and the UK: you have to be re-tried to be found innocent, but pardons occur for miscarriages of justice, so a pardon doesn’t mean say you were necessarily guilty either. If that is the case I’m not sure why they didn’t pardon them instead of expunging. All I can think of is that we don’t have a history of mass pardons so perhaps they’d have to be done individually?

        Sadly, I had to google all that Oz info. Which means a) it’s not a big topic of conversation here at the moment, and b) I really should pick up a local newspaper now and again instead of just reading international headlines.

      • Sixer says:

        Oh, thanks! How on earth did I miss that?! I feel your googling pain.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      Thank you for this, I am a first year law student but not from UK so I wondered how things work there.

    • icerose says:

      yes to a formal mass apology and a fast track process to have it taken of your recodes and your relatives record.

    • JaneFR says:

      I’m not liking the “pardon” to me it says “well let’s forget you committed a crime / you did not committed a crime”. Basically, sorry, you were not gay. It should say, sorry being homosexual is not nor should ever has been a considered a crime.

  14. Imo says:

    All the royals were asked, generally. But isolating the Cambridge response gets clicks. I expect many comments here on this will reflect a limited understanding of the working characteristics of a constitutional monarchy.

    • icerose says:

      Yes I agree but Benny and Fry both new what the result would be and just used it for PR

      • Maggie says:

        “”””Yes I agree but Benny and Fry both new what the result would be and just used it for PR””””
        You have said that a number of times Icerose and it is true. Petitions need publicity and thousands have signed in the last few days. It has nothing to do with awards PR though but something that Fry and Cumberbatch feel very strongly about along with the cast and crew of The Imitation Game.

        Benedict has always supported causes that have impacted upon him through his roles. He has been an ambassador for MND since playing Hawking 10 years ago and still continues to support the cause.

    • FLORC says:

      Here it’s 2 things that get clicks here. Cambridges and Cumberbatch. I’d say there’s a solid mix of both here. Not a simgling out of the Cambridges. And also a group that discusses the laws and politics behind it. This thread seems to have very little to do about William and Kate t all really. Which is nice.

  15. LAK says:

    Constitutionally they can’t sign it. This is a (potential/future) legislative issue.

    It’s ridiculous for Stephen Fry, a man who is supposed to be very clever, not to understand their limits.

    • icerose says:

      He new and so did Benny -it is a PR stunt and the only people to get ups set about their nit signing it are those who do not understand how our system works,

  16. Citresse says:

    Forced to take estrogen injections? How does that make sense? You mean testosterone injections don’t you?
    Unless certain individuals back then were attempting a quasi- chemical castration technique involving toxic levels of estrogen. Is that correct?

    • LAK says:

      Sadly, yes. That was how he was castrated.

    • I remembering reading it a few years back when the Dutch were in the news because they sentenced a pedophile to it. They said they inject them with Depo-Provera, which is the same birth control I use. I’m not sure what effect it would have on men, but apparently that’s what they used for the procedure.

    • icerose says:

      yes but they really did not know what they were doing they were clutching at straws like some of the therapies we see today. It causes impotence and addition breast tissue,
      But they still use chemical solutions with paedophiles.

  17. scout says:

    Good petition for the cause, nice if they get pardoned even after all these years. I think other royals have to get approval from the Queen first to sign anything independently. I don’t know if they can act on their own. No idea how it works there for them.

  18. Citresse says:

    I would like to see William work as a helicopter pilot (air ambulance) service work full time for at least twelve months solid before any more trips, holidays, time off etc and that includes his entire growing family being stationed in public housing with other families assoc w William’s work. I also want William to donate one hundred percent of his year’s salary to a charity of his choice. I want to see Kate live and interact socially with William’s work associates and their families and set up weekly meetings with local charities. This could be viewed as a Malta type service akin to what the Queen and Prince Philip experienced early on in their marriage.
    I believe it would please the British public and help mend the idea of poor work ethic involving William and Catherine.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Well, William is donating his entire (donated) salary to charity. I think that’s the only part of your wish that you’ll receive.

      About Malta. HM did not live on Malta for two years, that whole “two years off, newlyweds, HM wants W&K to experience what she had” is a complete press and fanatic fabrication. Philip was there 1949 – 1951 (they married in 1947).

      “Princess Elizabeth also visited Malta four times while Prince Philip was stationed there on naval duties, and enjoyed the life of a naval wife and young mother.” Official Site of the British Monarchy.

      • icerose says:

        my mum and dad went to ball on Malta they attended,
        There are probably lots of judicial implications that they have to work through including how it ties in with compensation.

      • notasugarhere says:

        How fun! Does she have any tales of the evening?

      • Imo says:

        And you have no problem with Elizabeth leaving her children for weeks on end in order to galavant with Phil? Sure there were some charity events but mostly glam lunches with high ranking officers’ wives and champagne dinners and polo.
        Elizabeth arrived with 40 leather trunks of designer gowns shoes and jewelry as well as a polo pony for her husband a gift. Let’s not pretend she was sipping tea with MP wives as they wiped jam and biscuit from the faces of their little children.
        Malta was mad for Liz but the archived articles from The British press tell a completely different story. Many were not pleased.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Do I have a problem with a military spouse taking time to visit their deployed spouse? No.

      • Imo says:

        Nota sugar
        Oversimplify much? Elizabeth was not your average housewife. Nor were these short visits with the children happily in tow. Liz spent long periods away from the children and didn’t return when Charles had a tonsillectomy. Even when Phil resigned his post and returned to England who greeted him on the tarmac? Charles and a nanny. Liz was at Ascot. Kate gets slammed for leaving George for day shopping lol and she’s not even heir presumptive! And let’s not forget the outrage at Fergie allegedly leaving Bea for a month to visit Andrew. Liz. Enjoyed her leisure time in Malta with Phil but refused to let Fergie live with Andrew. We see how that turned out.

      • Citresse says:

        Yes, can you imagine any senior Royal agreeing to live in social housing and having daily interaction ie coffee clutches with Sally and other pilot wives while discussing when the coin op public laundry machine is available per the community sign up sheet?
        In other words, no more Anmer Hall, no more trips to Bucklebury and no more Kensington Palace for you Catherine Middleton, for an entire calendar year!!!!!.
        Yes, Catherine, it’s time to pick up a mop, do your coin op laundry and be a wife and mother within the “normal” setting as is the claim by younger generations of Royals.

      • Jaded says:

        @IMO – “galavant”?? Is visiting your husband while he’s posted away considered “galavanting” now? In my experience it’s called being with your loved one, without which many marriages don’t survive.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I do not have a problem with a spouse visiting their deployed spouse. Military service that involves deployment is difficult enough. HM did it her way for a woman of her time. The way any woman of her set would have done it – complete with leather suitcases. I do think that time was the most “normal” HM ever felt, even though it is nowhere near what most of us consider normal.

        Results? Charles felt neglected, Anne publicly stated that anyone who thought they were neglected or unloved by HM and PP was wrong. Charles is known to react emotionally, Anne more logically. I doubt Philip would have wanted to greet his wife publicly for that first reunion, so they chose to do that privately. They gave the press and public the father/son reunion instead.

        As others have pointed out, it is the continual lying about “being normal” that traps W&K and brings on the criticism. She cannot work for an hour but has plenty of time to shop being a prime example. They need to stop pretending she’s a regular SAHM, admit they have loads of help, and she’s never going to work full-time until crowds come after her with pitchforks. No more, “She’s so eager to get back to work” BS.

      • Imo says:

        Yes I call what Liz did galavanting. I come from a long line of service personnel and am entitled to my opinion.
        You completely invented a reason why Liz went to Ascot instead of welcoming Phil home with Charles. And you do not choose to address the most egregious parts of the conversation. Easier to point out the Cambridge’s faults – low hanging fruit and all that. We already know they are lazy and truculent. But the judgmental double standard gets me every time.

      • icerose says:

        Yes the prince and princes danced the hokey cokey with them and let their hair down. My mum pinched a rose of the table decorations they were sitting at and kept it along with their invite,

      • notasugarhere says:

        Where did I say you’re not allowed to have your opinion? You call it galavanting, I call it working to keep a healthy marriage with a deployed spouse. Both opinions, neither right or wrong.

        What proof do you have as to why HM would be at Ascot and not somewhere else? What fact or reason? Nothing. Your opinion is she thought being at Ascot was more important. My opinion is, they are a private couple and would not want to have an emotional a reunion in front of the press. Since neither of us is HM or PP, it is all opinion. You think their choice was wrong, I think their choice makes sense.

        Theme of this article — society and culture change over time. Something was illegal in the past, people were convicted of something that is no longer a crime. What do we do retroactively to address this? Upper class British child rearing in 1951 is different from many people’s ideas of child rearing today. Where is the “judgmental double standard” in acknowledging society and child rearing have changed over time?

        Visiting a deployed spouse four times over two years in the 1950s is one thing. HM worked on government papers while there and they also undertook a tour for His Majesty.

        Living with your spouse full-time today (or as much as he’s willing to be under the same roof with you) and refusing to work for your perks? Continually lying about your whereabouts, your health, and your intention to work for four years?

        They are two different situations in two different eras.

        Icerose, I hope she kept that rose and invite, and passed them along to you.

      • icerose says:

        @EMO My dad was a junior naval officer during the war and after and he and my mum attended loads parties, balls and generally had a great time. It was part of the lifestyle .To them the princess was just doing what they all did and they did not hold it against her,Back then the children had nanny’s and were packed of to boarding school when old enough . It was a way of life and when I look at her pictures I think it must have been great to wear all the wonderful clothes and party hard,
        Having said that we were set as day attenders because there were so many of us they could not afford boarding fees.
        I think as worldwide communication change people began to see the disparities in wealth and are les willing to accept it,

      • Imo says:

        Do read the entirety of the thread – the first part of my last response was a reply to Jaded. When speaking to you I have addressed you. Elizabeth did not attend her husband’s homecoming. You have chosen to give admirable reasons for this and that is your right. I have not given any reason whatsoever I have simply stated that she did indeed make the choice not to go. Now yes I feel that she decided that something else was more important or more appropriate. This is also an opinion but I do stated as such. We do bend over backwards to come up with elaborate reasons why the people we like do the things that they do. At the same time we also refused to give any plausible reason why someone we don’t like you chooses to do certain things. It is so exhausting to pick a favorite and stick with it no matter what. And yes I am well aware that things do change over time and child rearing techniques certainly change over time but as I stated above the British press had a problem with Elizabeth spending so much time away from her children at the time. In other words her contemporaries had a problem with it. In 1951. And this was at a time when the media was very reluctant to criticize Elizabeth, so there truly was a sense of impropriety.
        As for her not letting her daughter-in-law spend time with Andrew again I feel that is hyypocritical. You believe it was more important for Fergie to stay behind and basically singing for her supper but that is a somewhat callous assessment if you ask me. By supporting her deployed husband she would have been doing an admirable and important thing. Or do you think that wives should visit their deployed husbands when they are someone that you find admirable and beyond reproach? And even Andrew has stated that being away from his wife for such long periods of time was a huge mistake and he has expressed a great deal of guilt about that. L

      • Imo says:

        I know that the wealthy sometimes have a different idea of what parenting looks like especially many decades ago. But even for her time and even among the wealthy Elizabeth was considered to be somewhat distant. However I find your comments on this particular part of the thread to be quite charming and I’m sure your parents must of had a wonderful time 🙂

      • notasugarhere says:

        IMO, I wasn’t referring to Fergie when talking about visiting a deployed spouse. I was referring to HM visiting Philip.

        For Fergie’s experience, someone on here has shared, we weren’t privy to all the details as to how long she was gone, if she was gone a solid X weeks, etc. There’s the version the press spoon fed us, and the version of what really happened.

      • Imo says:

        I do not think it matters in the least how long Fergie was away. The point is the public perception that she was away from her child for a month which has created a lot of criticism and speculation over the years. In other words people feel like 30 days is far too long to be a way from your child. I personally don’t think it matters how long a spouse is deployed with their husband or wife if the children are also there. Short visits are okay if the kids stay at home but this is the issue I take with Elizabeth. She was visiting her husband on deployment which is fine but she left the children behind for more than two or three or even four weeks at a time. I think that is ridiculous and selfish and apparently some of the media at the time felt the exact same way. I am not alone in that believe even if it is in a popular belief. Therefore I think Elizabeth was hypocritical and her decision not to let Fergie and the children remain with Andrew on deployment.

      • Megan says:

        Nota – wait a minute …. You are saying the queen and Prince Phillip have a private relationship because they do not show emotion in public. But you constantly point out that W+K have a bad marriage because William does not show emotion in public. Double standard much?

      • notasugarhere says:

        Perspective and eras, Megan. Philabet are from a different generation. I think it odd that William shows no affection to Kate Middleton in public, while she trails after him like a puppy. He often appears tense and angry with her, shown in photos and video. William shows affection – including physical affection – to others in public (family, friends). If he doesn’t like public displays of affection, you’d think it would transfer but she’s the only one who doesn’t receive them.

    • FLORC says:

      You’re asking for the moon and stars here.

      You’re taking a lot of stuff out of context regarding past royal and their actions/regrets/etc…
      And you’re really trimming situations to fit your opinion. When in that sense your thoughts and opinions are accurate, but you’re leaving out the big picture and outside influences. This is just a very broad observation i’ve been seeing in your comments recently.
      You didn’t ask, but if you did that’s what i’d say 😉

      • Imo says:

        I would respond but your comment was very general so not sure what you disagree with. I’m all ears lol

  19. I understand why they can’t do, they’re supposed to be fluffy royals with no brains and their only job in life is to accept flowers and cut ribbons. But if you’re going to pretend to lord over people at some point you have to take some action. Can’t have it both ways.

    That said I finally saw the film last night. For some reason the other people in the theater thought it was a comedy? But that might have been the horrible French translation. It was good but I don’t think he did enough acting to get an Oscar. It was an interesting story, but the film seemed to plod on before revealing that it was a message on homophobia? I don’t know to be honest with you because that wasn’t reveled until the last quarter. Any way it was good but not great. It made me want to seek out more information so there’s that at least.

  20. Zimmer says:

    I may just not understand how things work in Britian, but wouldn’t positive results from this petition open a can of worms legally. As in, the government could be sued? If that is yhe case, I am not at all surprised they are not signing.

  21. marie says:

    They can’t. That’s it. Royals are politically useless anyway…

    • icerose says:

      the only reason they have existed this long is because they gave up their right to meddle in affairs of state than goodness,

  22. Kaley says:

    Just sign it…it’s the right thing to do and your names aren’t that long.

    Benny should start a new petition; abolition of the useless monarchs.

    • icerose says:

      we already have one as well as the one related to Turing that Benny has only just decided to sign up to

  23. Elly says:

    to be fair the Windsors don´t make political statements. They have to remain silent and considering how “smart” some of the Windsors are this is a good thing.

    It still needs balls for statements about homosexuality especially for conservative institutions like the monarchy. It was awesome when CrownPrincess Victoria of Sweden made a surprise appearance and awarded the ‘Gay of the Year’ award in Stockholm. She has balls and her heart is in the right place.

    • notasugarhere says:

      You can find the video (with subtitles) on YouTube under Swedish Crown Princess Victoria at QX GayGalan 2013. She’s what, four years older than W&K? Clearly trained for and embraces her role.

      Please none of the “he’s only the heir-to-the-heir” business. This is how a professional, dedicated 30something should present themselves. As long as W&K hide out from full-time royal duties, they will not improve unless they do the work.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Queen Maxima is also invested in LGTB issues though I don’t know the particulars. Royals in a constitutional monarchy can’t sign political petitions. However, they can work for causes in other ways – through patronages or foundations. Danish TV recently showed a documentary on CP Mary’s work with her foundation that focuses on social issues – like bullying, violence against women and women’s health in the 3rd world (she works with the UN on the latter). Modern European royals can’t meddle in politics but thay can work with important social issues from a humanitarian perspective. It doesn’t have to be just ribbon-cutting and hand-waving. Fx Queen Maxima also works with the UN on finance issues.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Ah yes, knew Maxima was in there too.

        “Maxima is one of the few royals who has publicly supported gay rights. She was the first royal to attend an LGBT rights conference and signed an accord calling for the full acceptance of gays in The Netherlands. This stance has been supported by her husband and, maybe more importantly, her mother-in-law.” (Examiner article, event and accord were March 2008)

        From a BBC report around the ascension. “Maxima is also a prominent proponent of gay rights. One of her first appearances as queen will be at a two-day international gay rights summit in The Hague.”

  24. Nymeria says:

    “I don’t believe William is unwilling to stand up for gay people, by the way.” Obviously he is unwilling to stand up for gay people.

    • jammypants says:

      Right? There is absolutely NO excuse to brush under the rug that human rights were grossly violated during those years. By not even acknowledging it, they are indirectly supporting it.

      • Megan says:

        Should they also take up the cause of Aboriginal people in Australia? Scottish Highlanders? Native Americans? Etc? Must William and Kate carry the weight for all of the British Empire’s /Commonwealth’s human right violations?

      • notasugarhere says:

        Megan, do you understand their role? The one they’re refusing to step up and do?

      • jammypants says:

        Megan, it’s signing a petition. I doubt they will lose sleep over that.

  25. lucian says:

    I am so profoundly disappointed in William and Kate for not signing on. Both royals are part of my more progressive generation and it would have been terrifically symbolic for them to publicly back this initiative.

    I think its situations like this and not staged baby kissing events that someones true personality becomes clear. They are both very privileged and should support those that have been wronged. I guess William in the final analysis isn’t much like his late mother Princess Diana after all. She was famous for fighting for those’s without a voice.

    • Jaded says:

      Well said Lucian. I know it’s “protocol” for the royals to not align themselves specifically with something like this, but for heaven’s sake quit hiding behind your titles and take a stand for people who were unjustly persecuted instead of living a lazy, entitled life with little to no giving back.

      • Sixer says:

        It’s not “protocol”! It’s a cornerstone of our democracy that the BRF does not attempt to influence matters before Parliament!

        There are plenty of ways these two twits could support gay rights and speak about past injustices. But interfering with or attempting to influence parliamentary issues bloody well isn’t one of them! HOWEVER worthy the cause.

      • Jaded says:

        @Sixer – Ouch!!! (wipes away stinging tears). Sorry I used the wrong terminology, I’m just a simple Canadian. But they could very well have shown some discrete support for many people who were horribly wronged, that’s all I meant and didn’t mean to cause offense.

  26. GirlyGirly says:

    Meh, they’re probably just confused as to how a pen works and what a signature is.

    The British Royal Family is just a bunch of inbred brain donors

  27. bettyrose says:

    Even if the royals can’t officially sign, surely they can speak out in support of it. Would it be totally off base to say Diana would?

    • Lindy79 says:

      She probably would have, definitely once she had lost her HRH.
      William isn’t in that position though.

    • LAK says:

      I’ve been flip flopping on this issue trying to think up ways they could give their support without turning it into a lobbying govt issue.

      I think Diana helped those 2 causes (AIDS and Landmines) because they were present nee current issues of the day. She could do a photo op that galvanised public opinion. And whilst her actions ultimately led to changes in legislation, she appealed to the public’s own community responsibility whereby people could take matters into their own hands and do something about it without entering politics or government.

      This one isn’t so easily photo op’d.

      Perhaps Stephen Fry and Co need to look to the successful campaign to pardon men shot for cowardice after WW1.

      However, even though I know they can’t wade in, I don’t think they have the intellectual capacity to do it – see poaching/ivory efforts nor the resilience for a long term strategy. If any royal should be approached, it should be Charles. He already has form in lobbying the govt.

      • bettyrose says:

        It doesn’t take much intellect to have your staff speech writer throw together a few bland comments:”we of course abhor injustice in whatever form it takes and hope the families of these men can have some peace.”. There . Nothing specific or objectionable said. But some moral backbone is necessary to even GAF.

      • LAK says:

        Ah, there is the rub…….

        Does William have the moral backbone? Has he demonstrated that he cares about anything outside of himself?

        His new conservation whiz came about because someone killed a rhino on Jecca’s family park.

        So until something touches him personally, it’s going to be crickets.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Too late now, but they could have headed it off at the pass and leaked this just after they refused to sign. Remember the stink about William forcing the staff to watch Twilight instead of James Bond? They could get their new royal mouthpiece on twitter (John Cleese) to leak an OTT tidbit like this:

        “Just back from an outdoor viewing of TIG. W&K were so moved after they watched it recently, they decided to treat their fellow holiday-goers to an outdoor viewing. The showing was to thank others on the island for honoring their privacy during their annual holiday.”

      • Sixer says:

        What they COULD do is find ways to openly and vocally support the pardon given to Turing. As it’s already been given by Parliament, it’s not interfering with a legislative issue.

  28. jammypants says:

    The royals are over celebrated mascots.

  29. notasugarhere says:

    BTW, Kaiser, nicely-selected header photo. Shows how you really feel about them!

  30. Felice says:

    I know it’s apples and orange but in America, judges can’t take political stances or publicly support candidates.

    Also, BC looks like Dennis Quaid in those pictures

  31. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    My opinion of these two self-entitled, lazy, not-very-bright, thirty-something-years-old-but-still-immature people is so low that it makes no difference to me whether they sign or not. I know their opinion matters to some people, I just don’t agree or understand why.

    Edited to add: that top photo of Kate is one of the few where I thought she actually looks presentable. The jewelry was too clunky and the makeup (as usual) too heavy, but over-all, one of her better looks.

  32. Denise says:

    Pretty sad to see this as a potentially ‘controversial’ issue. Avoid so as not to upset the homophobes and bigots?

  33. notasugarhere says:

    Meanwhile James closes three of his businesses, and photos emerge of everyone (including Nanny Maria) on Mustique.

  34. Katie says:

    The Cambridges have their reasons I am sure, but outwardly, it does seem that they shy away from messy causes that may leave dirt on their hands. Perhaps The Queen has instructed them to do so for now; I don’t knnow.