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Lords bill introduced to pardon gay codebreaker Alan Turing

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  1. It would seem more just to argue for a blanket pardon for all the people – great and small, and some still alive – convicted by that law.

    Turing is a national hero, and an inspiration to many, but he’s not the only victim.

    1. About time too…..and I agree with docM all the others under that draconian law need to be pardoned too but sadly I dont think it will happen

    2. Not to mention the various other laws, some of which lasted into the 21st century, that criminalised gay people for doing something that would have been legal if they were straight.

      1. Philip Breen 10 May 2013, 9:07pm

        Yes absolutely. It is time the government got rid of the old gay offences of gross indecency between men and also that of ‘soliciting by man for an immoral purpose’ which had nothing whatever to to with prostitution and which relied on ‘pretty policemen’ as agents provocateurs. Also, since the government has been forced to do something about blanket CRB disclosures, these homophobic offences should be in the amnesty of minor offences not disclosed under the new regulations the House of Commons has to agree on.

  2. About time to.

  3. The timing of this is also problematic. It allows lords to say see, I’m not a homophobe for rejecting marriage equality, I voted to pardon Turing.

    Additionally, the history books of this country should not be able to white wash it with a posthumous pardon. Straight people in this country need to own up to what they did.

    And, yes, pardoning a dead man while leaving living men on the sex offenders rolls is unconscionable.

  4. George Broadhead 10 May 2013, 12:09pm

    This is potentially good news and it is worth pointing that this genius was not only gay but atheist.

  5. DaveHons221 10 May 2013, 12:32pm

    I was convicted of Gross Indecency 22 years ago and it still affects me on a daily basis. I work in adult Education and have to tell strangers in an interview situation about what I did all those years ago in a public loo with a man 20+ years my senior (I was 22 at the time). I really hoped that the recent change in the sexual offences act would mean I wouldn’t have to talk about such ancient history again but sadly that’s not the case and I regularly fail to get jobs I am qualified for but am somehow considered too risky to be around young people and ‘at risk’ adults.
    I feel sorry for the suffering that Turing went through but he is dead now and I think it makes better sense to help those who live and suffer on.

    1. Philip Breen 10 May 2013, 9:19pm

      I know about the ‘disregarding’ of gay offences on Oct 2012 which helped few indeed since most concerned are mostly retired. Are we sure that, since yours was effectively a public order offence with no victim, that it won’t be ‘filtered’ in forthcoming regulations that will only withhold ‘serious violent and sexual offences’ from filtering in the awaited draft legislation that parliament has to sort out for the new CRB/DBS disclosure system? It is worth checking this out and campaigning with local MPs to get all the homophobic crimes able to be ‘filtered’ since they don’t have victims or represent genuine risks to safeguarding. They would be the gay ‘gross indecency’ offences and ‘soliciting, importuning’ offences that don’t involve minors or the vulnerable but which were used to target gay men until 2003. This is too important an opportunity to miss out on. In March, the Home Office announced forthcoming changes not yet finalised. Check it out, get advice and get campaigning.

  6. The bishops will vote against it.

  7. Turing’s been dead over 50 years, history is history. I don’t know what this pardon will achieve, other than making some people feel better in a slightly sanctimonious way.

    The thought that somehow Turing “deserves” a pardon whereas everyone else doesn’t is also extremely disagreeable.

    1. Which just goes to show how little you undestand of this man’s worth to all of us. You are obviously not anywhere near his league. A nobody.

      1. What has me being a nobody got to do with anything?

        Are you seriously suggesting that laws should not be applied equally to all? I would suggest that you are, if anything, further from Turing’s league then than I am, matey.

      2. I second Rehan. Who are you to decide who should and should not receive pardons for precisely the same crimes? I submit that you are no less of a nobody than anybody else here. Turing is today rightfully, if not sufficiently, well-known for his contributions both to the war effort and to computer science. To quash the convictions of the famous, however, while ignoring those unsung but equally penalised, would be horribly unjust.

        1. Spanner1960 12 May 2013, 5:38pm

          It is also the fact that he knowingly broke the at the time.
          If you get nicked for driving 40mph in a 30mph zone, and they later change it to a 40, should you be entitled to ask for a refund of your fine?

  8. Perhaps the best thing Parliament could do would be to install a copy of the Alan Turing statue that sits on a bench, in Sackville Park in central Manchester – to remind them every day the harm that results from allowing ignorance and bigotry to dictate our laws!

  9. Gratitude to whoever introduced the Bill., the first of many, I hope.

    1. Liberal Democrat peer Lord (John) Sharkey., it says there in the second paragraph

  10. What’s even more of a tragedy and a shame is that it’s still even taking this long to do.

  11. Robert Gillespie 10 May 2013, 7:20pm

    Have to agree with docM How many deaths caused by that inhuman law.

  12. You watch O’Cathain will find reasons to object.

  13. GingerlyColors 11 May 2013, 11:05pm

    Everybody who is typing comments on this site is benefiting from Alan Turing’s invention, the Computer. Computers are going to have a greater influence in our lives in the 21st Century than John Logie-Baird’s television during the 20th.
    Therefore it is only right that Alan Turing should get his pardon and not only that, an operating system, be it a Microsoft, Mac or Linux one should bear his name.

    1. Of course, he also invented formal logic, phyllotaxis, mathematics, buggery and the first draft script for ‘Blade Runner’.

      As for the naming of modern systems, I was going to make a comment about Apples but reconsidered on the grounds of possible bad taste.

  14. As if it’s going to make any difference to a dead man. He and others should not have been treated in the dreadful way they were. The pardon means nothing.
    It’s akin to hanging an innocent person and then apologising to the corpse.

  15. Spanner1960 12 May 2013, 5:34pm

    Sorry, but I am still against this.
    One cannot retrospectively change what the man did; he knowingly broke the law (however wrong that law may now be considered.) – and that fact will never change. On top of that, why should this man be pardoned when so many others will not be? Trying to find all those people and change this would be a monumental undertaking.

    I think it would be far better to award Turing with a posthumous knighthood. Far better we recognise him for his contribution to the world, than highlight his indiscretions.

    I think it would be far better to award the

    1. When an injustice is done, irrespective of the legislation or beliefs of the time we should have the integrity to apologise and make amends where possible. There have been many instances of wrong-doings which, whilst accepted behavior of the time, have been acknowledged as fundamentally wrong when we have grown as a people. This is one of those instances. To still hold Turing, and others in the same situation in that time, as law-breakers is unconscionable.

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