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Queen grants gay war hero Alan Turing a posthumous pardon

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  1. What a wonderful Christmas present.

    1. Well, yes, and no, unfortunately.

      A “pardon” indicates forgiveness. But Turing did NOTHING wrong!

      A grand apology to this great homosexual man would have been far more fitting than forgiveness!

    2. This is just the homophobic establishment patting themselves on the back in a self-congratulatory gesture. May I just quote from the Guardian comment by Ally Fogg: “[The law] was wrong when it was used against Oscar Wilde, it was wrong when it was used against Turing and it was wrong when it was used against an estimated 75,000 other men, whether they were famous playwrights and scientists or squaddies, plumbers or office clerks. Each of those men was just as unfairly persecuted, and many suffered similarly awful fates. To single out Turing is to say these men are less deserving of justice because they were somehow less exceptional. ”

  2. Excellent news!

  3. At long last. We owe so much to Dr Turing

  4. Wonderful news. It is shameful what our nation did to him and thousands of others.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Dec 2013, 12:49am

    Long overdue! Now wait for the religious loons to weigh in. Andrea Minichiello Williams of Christian Concern won’t be too happy.

  6. Jay Hayes-Light 24 Dec 2013, 1:56am

    AT LAST! (I have tears in my eyes as I write this). Turing was a professor at my University (but before my time there). The University of Manchester is extremely proud of this genius. There is a memorial statue to him in one of the peaceful gardens of the oldest part of the main building and a stunning new building named after him. If only he had lived – what else might he have achieved?

  7. At last. Excellent Christmas news.

  8. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The clamouring rhetoric that suggests he deserves a pardon because of his contribution to the war effort. This establishment does not have the right to pardon Turing, because to do so washes all too eagerly over the fact that he and so many others were brutally persecuted. A pardon suggests that he did something wrong in the first place. This is not a bout forgiving Turing, this is about pretending that the British establishment has the right to forgive itself.

    1. .....Paddyswurds 24 Dec 2013, 7:48am

      I agree 100%. I had the same reaction as you did when I read the story and heard it on the news. It should be a posthumous apology for the way he and thousands of Gay men were treated by their own country because of the way they were born.

      1. Whilst I partly agree with you, it is also to do with the fact that this man has been pardoned. Not only because of his sexuality, yet also due to the fact that he saved thousands of others’ lives doing a job that he so clearly loved and was good at.

        Yes there are thousands of others who are also expected to be ‘pardoned’ and that is going through the proper procedures as well.

    2. Indeed! See my post to the same effect at the top of this thread.

    3. Agree completely. The implication that Turing, dead for over half a century, somehow “deserves” a pardon while all the others don’t is particularly unpleasant.

  9. About time. The wording of the pardon makes it sound like it is a gracious gesture. Actually, I see it more as an admission of guilt for the shameful treatment of this brilliant and creative man. “Know ye that” pardons must be given to all who’s lives were destroyed by the inhuman law that outlawed natural sexuality for so many people.

  10. Philip Breen 24 Dec 2013, 4:24am

    This is excellent news. I don’t know of any other cases of such a pardon. Perhaps this could pave the way for those convicted of other spent repealed gay offences, at least to have them filtered for the purpose of DBS checks. It is an egregious injustice that men convicted of the old gay offences are presumed a generic safeguarding risk by current legislation.

  11. One down, just a few hundred thousand to go, still it’s a start.

  12. This should have happen a long time ago, at least his been pardon now. You you gay haters remember this man help save your life

  13. Such an important gesture, a formal expression of just how much love there really is for dear Alan Turing.

  14. Philip Breen 24 Dec 2013, 7:01am

    One aspect that would loom large for the government is not the pardoning of gays, which would be easy enough, but the mechanism they would feel the need to create, in order to avoid paying compensation, a fact that encourages politicians’ fear of change. Ultimately, though, I suspect, this is not about getting money for those convicted of the old gay spent offences, ‘soliciting’ ‘gross indecency’ etc. Rather, it is about being able to get on with our lives without the ignominy of DBS disclosure, its crippling consequences for us in employment & volunteering, & the general burdens attached to these.

  15. Perhaps is now time for the Church of England to apologise for its appalling treatment and exclusion of gay people?

    1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 24 Dec 2013, 10:04am

      YES, Peter ! Should have been done a long time ago. Also in many, many other countries

    2. Philip Breen 24 Dec 2013, 11:24am

      And not just the Church of England……

  16. Helge Vladimir Tiller 24 Dec 2013, 10:27am

    This is a very touching story ! All my honour to those who went in front, and worked to make this possible–PinkNews included. I,m sure this wonderful hero, Alan Turing, permits me- here and now- to wish The Gay and Transgender Community in the UK a merry Christmas and a happy New Year ! We are winners and friends-

  17. He should be given some form of posthumous medal or honour, not just a pardon.

  18. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when this I read this. I would like to thank everyone involved in getting Dr Alan pardoned. You have done the right thing. Thank you.

    1. There are 50,000 others equally deserving of a pardon.

      This is only step 1.

  19. Good news.

    Now all 50,000 men convicted under this barbaric law need to be pardoned and for those still alive compensation paid for any loss of earnings.

  20. I think it is obvious that there will not be a blanket pardon of all 50,000 men convicted under this savage law.

    For starters those convicted were breaking the laws at the time – despite how Russia-like the laws were.

    More importantly there are still many men alive who were convicted under these laws who are still alive. They would quite rightly seek compensation which the government doesn’t want to pay.

    1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 24 Dec 2013, 11:24am

      Important, important, Sim ! This dark chapter in History must never be forgotten. Neither must similar periodes in other countries dark past or present— be hidden in darkness.

    2. Philip Breen 24 Dec 2013, 11:40am

      Exactly. You are right. Nonetheless, ‘disregarding’ or ‘filtering’ would be feasible ways of enabling those convicted of the old, spent, repealed gay offences that applied before SOA 2003, ‘Soliciting or persistently importuning by man for an immoral purpose’, ‘Gross Indecency’ etc. They could then put the past of convictions obtained by police entrapment, ‘pretty police routine etc’ behind them, without the humiliating & currently permanent DBS disclosures required for employment & volunteering purposes. Such a change would not be difficult for the gov’t to implement.

  21. Sorry to say this, but I’m not sure this is as great as everyone seems to think it is. A “pardon” for breaking horrendously homophobic laws – this is a half baked public statement at best. It feels like nationalistic heterosexuals trying to feel better about themselves. Combined with all the other people who had this on their records for the rest of their lives, this reads like something of a vacuous publicity stunt. Sometimes the light of activism and lobbying shines on the wrong issue and gets taken up by the paternalistic establishment. But what can we do?

    1. Well said, Elston.

    2. This pardon is merely a gesture. Turing has been dead for decades. He has no surviving close family, therefore pardoning him has no real consequence for the powers that be.

      However there are still many men still alive whose lives and reputations (not to mention criminal records) have been ruined by the homophobic laws. It is those men who need a pardon more than Alan Turing (or Oscar Wilde to take another famous example).

      1. Turing has been dead for decades. He has no surviving close family, therefore pardoning him has no real consequence for the powers that be.

        I couldn’t agree more. It’s just self-satisfied whitewashing.

        1. Jason&Mike 28 Dec 2013, 6:31pm

          Hay rehan! nothing will make you happy. Show a little respect for the queen, she’s done a good thing here! Why don’t you just leave the good man of Alan Turing’s legacy alone!! This pardon is a first good step towards the ethical treatment of ALL people. Why don’t you make some good use of your time and maybe help Alan Turing get knighted! the award he truly should have gotten rather than getting the O.B.E 4th class sent to him through the mail from King George when it was supposed to have been pinned on his chest by the king!! If you can’t be an advocate to the fight to restore the good name of Alan Turing then shut the H— up!!…..PUT A SOCK IN IT!!!

  22. This is very welcome news; despite the obvious caveats from others; and must spur us all on to ensure that all others who suffered during homophobic law times are forgiven. Also remember and campaign against the still extant; often horrific- anti-gay laws & attitudes worldwide- US right wing mainly- Uganda- Russia- Iran- India again recently etc – and the homophobia still within UK society at all levels sadly. (LGBT History Month 2014 (Feb) for a start- Theme is ‘Music’ and this news is music to our ears

    In the meantime; Seasons Greetings to all

  23. Without him we’d all might be speaking German.

  24. Tom Cotner 24 Dec 2013, 2:31pm

    It’s about time! Especially when you consider that a great many of us, including the Queen, herself, may not be here today but for the brilliant contributions of this man toward the ending, favorably, of this horrible war.
    We should all count the blessings that Alan Turing has bestowed upon us.

  25. Shame she couldn’t have added a few more words to the pardon document and pardoned all the gay men prosecuted under this hidious law !! And also told us the truth about how he was murdered by MI5. Because he was seen as a risk of defecting to Russia!

  26. About time!! And the Knighthood?

  27. It’s great news….but what about the thousands of other gay men who were humiliated by being dragged through the courts, losing their jobs and families, and suffering prison or chemical castration. (That is so horrific)
    But then, this great man is a symbol for all those poor souls who suffered for being who they were.

    Sleep well, Dr Turing.

  28. Too little, too late, and too safe played Queen. If you want to do something worthy in the name of our fallen gay brothers and sisters, try an intervention to the supreme court of India, having ruled homosexuality illegal based on *your own* crazy victorian law. Wench.

    1. Hear, hear, Dimitris! Well said! ;-)

    2. Your disrespect to our Queen is as distasteful as the disrespect shown to us by any homophobe. And as for holding her accountable for a law passed over 40 years before she was even born, that is just ridiculous. India has been independent for over 60 years – hold their government and legal system accountable, don’t blame our royal family or government.

  29. Rest in Peace Alan. Your name has been restored.

  30. Aharon Ben Yossef 24 Dec 2013, 5:23pm

    Well done. England ! It always takes time, but the result is GOOD.

  31. Gerard Westendorp 24 Dec 2013, 11:45pm

    Turing is a hero of mine, because he realised decades before anybody else the power of an idea, his ‘universal machine’, the computer. Is there any Youtube footage of Turing himself? As for the pardon itself, it is a bit surrealistic, I think.


    1. J.M. Turing 5 Jan 2014, 8:53pm

      After years of research, I have not been able to find any file footage of Alan nor were any of his interviews on the BBC radio broadcasts of his voice ever saved. A terrible disappointment and a great loss for all of us. You can get a copy of the BBC interview transcript if you are interested.

  32. Craig Nelson 27 Dec 2013, 5:29pm

    I am profoundly glad of the pardon. It is one way for the British State to acknowledge and recognise what it did to that man, who happened to be a hero. In doing so we are not so much pardoning Turing, we are seeking pardon for our State doing this to him and many many others. There is a generation, still alive, who lived under criminality. We need to find ways of acknowledging what happened and seeking their forgiveness. But pardoning Turing is a good start. The British State needs to be honest about its misdeeds while this generation is alive to pardon it.

  33. Julia Mathison Turing 28 Dec 2013, 5:57pm

    It is with tears of joy that I live to see this day! that Alan Mathison Turing is pardoned for a crime of innocently being himself. I am a Christian!! and I know without being told or lectured to that how Alan was treated by his own country after all his tremendous contributions to all mankind was not only horrific but absolutely terrifying!!. Alan would never have been treated this way had he lived here in the United States. The sadness that remains inside me is that he is not alive to see his pardon nor is there a burial site monument where his ashes were spread. Though I tried to place a monument there in 1982 and again in 1984, I was not allowed to, any such attempts by me were rejected by the mortuary director at that time. I have photos of the monument I placed there before it was taken down. It would mean a great deal to me to see Alan M. Turing be knighted as he absolutely has earned and deserves it. I hope the good people of the UK will push to have this done.

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