The Solicitor-General has called for a repeal of the 1701 Act of Settlement, saying the ban on the monarch marrying a Roman Catholic, or becoming a Roman Catholic, is contrary to the spirit of modern British life.
In an interview published in the Sunday Times, Vera Baird said the “ban on Catholics” ascending the throne “should be abolished because it is discriminatory.” Her comments came in a discussion of the government’s proposed Single Equality Bill, which seeks to unify anti-discrimination laws.
“I have always thought that what we have to do with the royal family is integrate them as far as possible into the human race,” Ms. Baird said.
The Solicitor-General’s comments follow last month’s statement by Justice Minister Jack Straw, who raised the ban on a Roman Catholic monarch during a debate on constitutional reform. “I fully understand that it is seen as something which is antiquated,” he told the House of Commons.
Altering the Act of Succession is unlikely to be accomplished by the current government, however, as it must also be approved by the governments of Commonwealth nations where the Queen is the constitutional monarch and sovereign: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tuvalu.
Full story at Religious Intelligence.