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Video: Government to support posthumous pardon of gay war hero Alan Turing following Lords vote

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  1. What a week. So this government government is going to assist the bill through its passage through the Lords to and through the commons? As i understand it, living people are allowed to have their convictions for homosexual acts removed – hence this bill not only gives Alan the recognition he deserves it also paves the way for others to be posthumously pardoned. Alan’s a hero and deserves to be on the 10 pound note.

  2. Colin Andrew 1966 19 Jul 2013, 5:37pm

    Didn’t the Labour government rightly give a blanket pardon to all the shellshocked soldiers shot in World War 1 – there should also be a blanket pardon for everybody who was convicted of gay “crimes”.

    1. Spanner1960 24 Jul 2013, 3:54pm

      They gave them apology, not a pardon.
      They have also given Alan Turing and his family one too, rightly so, but a pardon is wrong under the circumstances.

  3. Robert (Kettering) 19 Jul 2013, 5:47pm

    Why does this need an act of parliament? I thought that it was possible to give a Royal Pardon to anyone?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Jul 2013, 7:55pm

      A statutory pardon is the current remedy to address the inequity. I would imagine the Commons would have to decide if a Royal Pardon is possible.

      Glad this is happening though.

      1. Spanner1960 24 Jul 2013, 3:53pm

        A totally pointless PC gesture.
        Not only does it ignore everybody else with convictions, it makes a mockery of the law.

  4. This is great news! It’s easy to get angry about the way LGBT were treated in the past but you have to remember everyone thought it was a mental “disorder”. Even the liberators at Stonewall and elsewhere used to debate wether it was a mental disorder or not! People are stupid, of course they were going to think it was a disorder because it was so rare. Then naturally they’d assume it must have been the way they were raised that made them that way. The progress that’s been made is actually pretty predictable and easy to understand.

    1. I think you need to remember this was the time of Eugenics and these defective ways of thinking of race not only were used by the National Socialists in Germany to deamonise the Jews but were also current in America against the black and asian population and anyone else who was not white of course, just as the theories of the medicalisation of homosexuality were influenced by the now discredited Freud view of sexuality were also influenced by the Eugenics brigade which seems wierd when you think about it, because Freud was Jewish but this did not stop him buying into some of the other stuff – still not everyone bought into these ideas which were mostly as now held by those of more authoritarian and controlling bent. These ideas were also current in England in the 1930’s and 40’s .
      The French called the english disease (not homosexuality) but their fixation against it. It is also worth remembering that Mexico, a catholic country like France, got rid of their anti- gay laws in 1871.

      1. And yet the LaBourchie amendment in Britain 14 years later, in 1885 criminalised almost any homosexual activity, adding to the buggerrie act of 1533 passed by Henry VIII at the behest of Thomas Cromwell.
        These theories were by no means universally held especially by those who knew gay people and WWII conscription got lots of people from different backgrounds together, including gay people who were not all that hidden sometimes in the forces during WWII.
        I remember my father telling me stories and these were by no means negative. Also my grandmothers sister lived with “her companion” most of her life and my grandma was not at all negative on the issue of gay people or intersex and people who thought they were born the wrong sex. Just the reverse.

        1. I remember her using the phrase “bunkum” about those ideas of Freud and the Eugenics ideas of Jews and Black people and how these attitudes were those of Mosley and the brown shirts and some of those crazy Americans.
          Guess I was lucky in my family background that they had a pragmatic attitude to religion too.

        2. (Actually Labouchere [pronounced ‘Labbisher’])

          1. I copied the spelling from else where so they got it wrong too :P

      2. I’m not sure I understand: why should the combination of eugenics and Jewishness be ‘weird’? Eugenics, which places a great deal of emphasis on desirable genes is in no way opposed to Jewishness, which places a similar value on heritage, is it? And Freud’s theories on homosexuality may now be discredited, but I’m told he also emphasised many times that people should just accept homosexuality for what it is and not try to change it, which in many ways was more advanced than many other people even into our own era.

        1. The theories of eugenics allied to incorrect Freudian theories of homosexual causation plus the moralising of religion lead to the horrendous treatment of gay people in the mid twentieth century, castration, physical or chemical (look up DES) it was all about control and elimination of “undesirable” people (stop them breeding) or the more “humane” control! Later “electroshock therapy” continued the abuse. It realy does not matter what Freud wrongly thought, his flawed ideas & techniques were used by the fascist control freaks to align reality to their religion and “morality”; more to the point they are still corrupting “research” or making it up to fit their “religious” view of the world – never mind inconvenient facts. These ideas are still out there and the ignorance is still being peddled by the religiofascists.
          This mindset lead to the horrendous treatment of Alan Turing and many others. I would question “desirable genes”, in your reply – think, WHO is deciding?

          1. Yes, I should have put “desirable genes” in quotes above.

        2. Spanner1960 24 Jul 2013, 3:57pm

          I think the basic concept of Eugenics is perfectly acceptable in principle.
          The question is, one refers to “desirable genes”, but who’s desire is this and what are the criteria and why?

  5. Lets hope it happens….

  6. gerry leddy 19 Jul 2013, 7:48pm

    I have been moved to tears. every gay person and every anti gay person should watch this peers debate

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Jul 2013, 7:56pm

      Me too. Some of the Peers’ comments have been incredibly moving. Baroness Trumpington was wonderful.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Jul 2013, 8:29pm

    Incredibly moving. It’s just passed second reading! Well done, noble Peers! What a week!

  8. Turing remains the embodiment of a society metaphorically shooting itself in the foot in the name of outdated social mores. One really does wonder exactly where the U.K. would have ended up in the race to develop computer science had it not been for the loss of Turing. Everyone might be looking to Manchester instead of Silicon Valley as the epicenter information technology.

  9. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do… D­a­y3­7.ℂ­ℴ­M

  10. long over due this man saves SO MANY and was treated disgustingly – the man should be give an award

  11. Philip Breen 20 Jul 2013, 10:52am

    This marks a step forward in national consciousness about homosexuality. However, we need to keep up the fight for thousands of gay men for their non-disclosure on DBS forms (formally CRB). All of the victimless gay offences, soliciting or persistently importuning by man for immoral purposes, gross indecency etc are still listed disproportionately as offences that can NEVER be filtered. Prejudices still run high in the Justice system of the UK, refusing to distinguish gay sex offences from those relating to children and vulnerable adults.

  12. Willliam La Roche 20 Jul 2013, 11:40am

    Rather than pardon dead people what about those still living? Gay men were being prosecuted and imprisoned right up until the 1990s in Britain for these victimless “crimes”.
    And how about the police who organised campaigns of persecution and were clearly driven by animus and prejudice? Let’s organise investigations into their institutionalised homophobia and extra-legal activities.
    We could start with the police in Manchester in the nineties. That would be justice to see Anderton and his regime suitably investigated and hopefully prosecuted if wrong-doing was uncovered.

    1. Philip Breen 20 Jul 2013, 12:26pm

      Hear hear! Not just in Manchester, but sadly all over the country, though Alderton was notorious for his anti-gay campaigns, sending agents provocateurs to catch gay men either looking for other men or by pretty police stalking cottages and cruising grounds. I suspect the government really does not want an enquiry into its appalling & prurient treatment of homosexuality because of the hornet’s nest it would open for them. I imagine the government would fight back, splitting hairs between one gay offence and another, to minimize any impact and to protect the police. Frankly, the government should filter all the gay offences like other offences after 11 years and so bury the hatchet. Only then, could we really begin to move ahead and put the past behind us.

  13. A great man, who along with the rest of the Bletchley code breakers and infrastructure there had a truly massive influence on the war effort, and then afterwards he was hugely influential on computing. Mr Turing should be named as one of the heroes of the 20th Century.

    My apoligies re- of topic BUT “Those responsible for the death of Gareth Williams have never been brought to justice”

  14. 70 years to late. Winston churchill said we would have lost the war except that Truing cracked the enigma codes so we could read lots of the german raidio traffic

    Note in the story some conservative said turning should not get recognititon as his act was a crime then

    That guy should be tossed in a latrine and burred in u know what. that #$%^& would prob have been murdered as a child and he still doesnt get it.

    welcome to the curse of humanity – religion.

  15. Spanner1960 21 Jul 2013, 12:30pm

    This is patently wrong.
    It is unfair to others who were also charged with these crimes, as well as many other people who’s charges have since been revoked.

    The crimes may well have been unfair and unjust, but one cannot turn back time. He knowingly committed an offence and was caught for it.

    Far better we recognise the genius Turing was and his outstanding contribution to British society be awarding him a posthumous knighthood to put him up with the other great scientific knights like Flaming and Rutherford.

    Let us celebrate his achievements, not some petty little indiscretion.

    1. Spanner1960 21 Jul 2013, 12:31pm

      *Fleming. Oops.

    2. “Some petty little indescretion” he was castrated and commited suicide you twonk

      1. Spanner1960 24 Jul 2013, 3:49pm

        I suggest you read it correctly – he was given oestrogen tablets to reduce the sex drive, sometimes referred to rather melodramatically as “chemical castration”, the results of which are totally reversible. It’s not like they cut his nuts off. TWONK.

  16. To pardon someone means they did something wrong but you forgive them for it.

    He did NOTHING wrong and should NOT be pardoned….he should be EXONERATED!!

    1. Spanner1960 24 Jul 2013, 3:51pm

      He DID do something considered wrong at the time. A pardon is given to somebody wrongfully convicted.
      One cannot change the facts. That was then, this is now.

  17. “Justice Minister Lord McNally last year said of the prospect of a pardon: “A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence. He would have known that his offence was against the law and that he would be prosecuted.”

    What an awful thing to say. Implying that those laws were justified, pah! Just because people were stupid back then doesn’t mean he should have a criminal record. The man saved the Allies in WW2 and how was he repaid? Chemical castration! Suicide! Tragic, everyone with a “criminal” file for “gay sex crimes” should have their records wiped no question.

    1. There is a growing belief that his death was accidental and not suicide.

      Surely a criminal record is irrelevant if he is dead? It’s only descendants who worry about these things, and Turing had none.

      It’s now widely known how great Turing was, this ‘pardon’ is not going to make a difference one way or the other.

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