There’s been an ongoing petition for some time to have an official pardon granted to Alan Turing.
Turing was a mathematical genius who basically won World War II (I’m abridging the full story a tad), and was then convicted on a charge of gross indecency due to being in a gay relationship. He agreed to undergo a process of chemical castration, the only alternative being prison, and committed suicide a couple of years later.
As much as an official pardon would be nice, and well overdue, there has been a question of whether it’s really worth pushing for it now. It’s far late for it to do him any good, after all, and he did receive a formal apology in 2009 from then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Still, some people considered the formal pardon worth pressing for, and gathered 23,000 signatures in an online petition, which the House of Lords finally responded to on Monday.
Which is a bit weird. I mean, I wasn’t entirely sure whether the campaign was really worth it myself, or whether there weren’t better ways by now for us to make progress toward LGBT equality and whatnot. But to have the thing in front of you and turn it down? To have reached the point where you’re obliged to make a decision, do we pardon Alan Turing or not, and your answer is no?
What the hell, Justice Minister Lord McNally?
A posthumous pardon was not considered appropriate as Alan Turing was properly convicted of what at the time was a criminal offence.
You do know that the criminal offence he was “properly” convicted of was, basically having a boyfriend? I mean, yes it may have been a criminal offence at the time, but… that was back when we were a bit rubbish about gay people. We’ve got better since then. Can we not all agree that forcing chemical castration on someone because of their same-sex attraction was, y’know, wrong, even back then when we thought it was a good idea?
No? Fair enough.
Way to stay relevant, Lords.