Tuesday, December 24, 2013

gay codebreaker pardoned

Alan Turing
Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.
It addresses his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated.
The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that had proved vital to the Allies in World War Two....
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: "I pay tribute to the government for ensuring Alan Turing has a royal pardon at last but I do think it's very wrong that other men convicted of exactly the same offence are not even being given an apology, let alone a royal pardon.
"We're talking about at least 50,000 other men who were convicted of the same offence, of so-called gross indecency, which is simply a sexual act between men with consent."
Strange to think how insistently anyone might wish for and feel reassured by the agreement of the society s/he lives in. "Everyone says so" is a great excuse for finding company and shirking responsibility ... and insuring the very sorrow that the longing for agreement hoped to elude in the first place.


  1. Did you get the who, what, when, where, why and how of the particular pardon for Turing at this point in time? I still haven't, not the full picture; I did a little more 0from a different BBC online article:

    "Many people have campaigned for years to win a pardon for Turing.

    "Dr Sue Black, a computer scientist, was one of the key figures in the campaign.

    "She told the BBC that she hoped all the men convicted under the anti-homosexuality law would now be pardoned."
    - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25495315

    Will some groups such as any of those in the English gay community seek to form alliances throughout the country to pressure the government for "pardons" for the 50K other individuals similarly convicted?

    From the same article:

    "The problem is, of course, if there was a general pardon for men who had been prosecuted for homosexuality, many of them are still alive and they could get compensation."

  2. Robert -- No, I did not get the full story. I read what was presented and was left to read between the lines ... that a talented homosexual man received an apology while similarly-inclined-but-not-similarly-talented men were quietly and irresponsibly forgotten. How often is tragedy thus? I think pretty often. Jesse Owens might win the 1936 Olympics and put the lie to Hitler's uebermensch philosophy, but the cheering throng quietly and irresponsibly declined the use of the bathroom mirror. What a meatgrinder of sorrow.

    I also was left to wonder if Turing had been assassinated ... a plausible hypothesis from where I sit, but also one that lacks supporting evidence in my undereducated mind.