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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 28 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 09
No, young man, you can't be Queen
Section One
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No, young man, you can't be Queen

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Every Gay boy in Britain may dream of growing up to be Queen, but alas, those dreams will never come true after parliament finishes redrafting the laws that govern royal titles.

Britain's new Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act will take effect March 29, and officials are currently rewriting the country's laws to reflect the possibility that in the future the King may have a husband or the Queen a wife.

The title 'Queen' will not be available to a Gay man married to the King, legal experts say. Nor will a man marrying the heir to the throne be entitled to be called 'Princess of Wales.'

The Treason Act of 1351 will also be altered to clarify that it is still treason for another man to have sex with a King's wife - but that it would not be treason for a man to have sex with the King's husband. The original purpose of that law was to ensure that only legitimate offspring of the King inherited the throne, which would not be an issue if the King's husband had sex with another man.

Similar rules will apply to titles of nobility like 'Duke' or 'Earl.' Words like 'widow' or 'husband' will be changed, or deleted from statutes, in order to clarify that spouses are no longer expected to be of the opposite sex.

'The route the Government has chosen seems to be to admit that the equalness of same-sex marriage has its limits,' Julian Lipson, head of the family law practice at Withers LLP, told the Telegraph newspaper.

'They presumably don't want to end up with the situation of, for example, there being two duchesses or a man with the title of duchess.

'It seems that they are getting it all tidied up before these changes take effect to avoid uncertainties.'

During the consultation phase for the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act, the LGBT organization Out for Marriage also asked for a review of so-called 'courtesy titles,' and this may open a new can of titled worms.

For example, under current rules, the wife of a knight is called 'Lady,' but that might be considered inappropriate for the Knight's husband. On the other hand, the husband of a woman who becomes a Dame - the female equivalent of knighthood - gets no special title.

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