This is a question that lawmakers in Britain are considering as an opportunity comes before the House of Commons to allow a gay monarch to have their same-sex partner recognized and their children given the right to ascendancy.
MPs are preparing to take up a wider law that would change the rules of ascendancy to allow the child of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, to take the throne whether the child is a boy or a girl. Current law would only confer a claim to the throne if the child were male.
Labour MP Paul Flinn has authored a gay-inclusive amendment, billing it as just another consideration for a change in ascendancy laws.
Flynn told Politics.co.uk, “The rules of success aren’t written by God on tablets of stone. They are changeable. Parliament will change them. If it can change one, it can change the others.”
As proposed, the amendment would officially recognize the validity of a civil partnership or same-sex marriage.
Crucially, and germane to the proposed law change, the amendment would then allow for the recognition for a child born to the couple through artificial insemination. Obviously the child would not share the complete history of its parents’ bloodline, so this a massive departure from tradition, which has demanded a strict observance in this regard.
However, as it currently stands, there are no moves to change the law to allow for recognition of an adopted child.
The amendment is not yet scheduled for debate as it must first be accepted by the speaker of the House of Commons — though this seems assured as the current Speaker, John Bercow, is an outspoken LGBT rights supporter.
What is perhaps doubly interesting about this amendment is that a change to allow for recognition of a same-sex consort poses a unique issue for the Church of England. This is because the British monarch is considered the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
The Church of England has, often times bitterly, opposed a change to allow for same-sex marriage.
Were the amendment to be adopted, the Church of England would find itself facing the potential of a Supreme Governor of the Church who was in a same-sex marriage and, potentially, raising a child.
One can expect that if the amendment is allowed a House of Commons debate, religious protestation will be loud and, perhaps, even vitriolic. There is also the concern that this might have a detrimental impact on the wider marriage equality push, though the Conservative-led coalition government’s commitment to the marriage equality law it has championed has, to date, remained firm.
Interestingly, Flynn is also pushing for a referendum on the monarchy when Queen Elizabeth II dies, suggesting that as a matter of consideration the public should be given the choice of who, if anyone, should inherit the so-called royal legacy.
The royal baby is expected in July, though the exact due date has been withheld from the press.
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