Pardoned for Being Gay

Thu, 12/26/2013 - 11:21
Submitted by Carlin Ross

For Christmas, the Queen officially pardoned Alan Turing.

Alan Turing was a scientist, accredited with being the father of computer science and artifical intelligence. During World War II, he broke Germany's enigma code which gave Allied leaders vital information about the movement and intentions of Hitler’s forces.

Historians credit the work of Turing and his fellow codebreakers at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire with shortening the war by up to two years, saving countless lives.

But in 1952 Alan was convicted of obscenity for being a homosexual - interestingly enough the same law the India is using to outlaw "gay" sex: the Criminal Amendment Law Act of 1885. He was chemically castrated and, ultimately, he killed himself.

I thought about Alan all day yesterday...what it must have felt like to do so much for your country only to be prosecuted for loving men.  It must have been so surreal.  Did he think that someone would save him?  Was he waiting for some group to take up his cause? 

One can only imagine what the world would have been like if he had been free to be himself.  Hate costs. 

Sex, Politics & More Sex

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Alan Turing

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 16:22

Sadly, Alan Turing's 'pardon' came far too late to do him any good. And he only got it because he'd performed a service for the Crown and had defenders who took up his cause. What about the thousands of other men whose lives were ruined by these hate-based laws? By all rights, every one of them should be given full pardons and public apologies, and paid substantial restitution if they are still living. If they are not, restitution ought to go to their descendants and families. Any country calling itself itself decent and civilized ought to do the same, if they ever had such laws themselves.

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