Entries in Discrimination (2)


Queen Elizabeth Takes Historic Stand Against Discrimination

Warrick Page/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Queen Elizabeth II is set to make history later on Monday when she signs a new charter taking a stand against discrimination, which some have interpreted as tacit support of gay rights.

The 86-year-old matriarch will sign the agreement in public to show her support.  With the stroke of the pen, the queen will be making a symbolic pledge for equal rights for billions of people in 54 countries in the British Commonwealth around the world.

The Commonwealth Charter states opposition to "all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, color, creed, political belief or other grounds."

"This is believed to be the first time she's shown her support of gay rights.  That's a big step," ABC News royal contributor Victoria Arbiter said.

The charter is still only a symbolic step for many of the 54 countries because homosexuality is still illegal in 41 of the nations in the British Commonwealth.

Embodying centuries of royal tradition, Britain's head of state has recently learned to relax a little, showing she's moving with the times.  But never in her 61 years as monarch has she done anything like this before.

"The queen has to remain politically neutral," Arbiter said.  "While we won't hear her personal views on this, the fact that she is endorsing it publically in front of television cameras, it really does speak volumes."

Reading between the lines, the British papers are also hailing this as a watershed moment for the new rules of succession.

The timing couldn't be any better with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, giving birth this summer.  By signing this pledge, the queen is giving a silent nod to the changes.

If Middleton has a baby girl, her daughter will one day be the queen.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Lonely Ginger Seal Finds New Home

FIle photo. Stockbyte/Thinkstock(Tyuleniy Island, Russia) -- A fur seal with reddish brown hair and blue eyes appears to have been shunned from the seal colony in Tyuleniy Island, Russia.

Nature photographer Anatoly Strakhov first spotted the fur seal hiding under a pile of logs, far from the other seals that had congregated near the water.

Although the seal isn’t a true albino with white fur and skin, it does have albinistic features, said Dudley Wigdahl, curator for mammals and birds at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif.

Wigdahl estimates the pup is between three and four months old.

Fur seals are typically a dark chocolate brown, and appear almost black when wet — a sharp contrast to this young seal’s pink flippers and light-colored eyes.

Albino features often create problems for animals in the wild where they are more easily spotted by predators. Sometimes these animals also suffer from poor eyesight.

Although it seemed that the odds were against this pup, there’s a happy ending after all: a dolphinarium Strakhov works with is now taking care of the seal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio