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E-petition Calls For Turing Pardon

100,000 signatures needed for Commons debate

Written by . Published on December 7th 2011.

E-petition Calls For Turing Pardon

AN ONLINE petition has been launched in a bid to secure a posthumous pardon for Alan Turing and scrap the conviction for gross indecency that was handed out to him because he was gay.

It may act as an apology to many of the other gay men, not as well known as Alan Turing, who were subjected to these laws."

Turing, part of the World War II Enigma code-breaking team and who also helped to create the world's first modern computer, was convicted of the offence in 1952, when UK law banned homosexuality. He worked at Manchester University for the later part of his life.  

He was forced to undergo chemical castration and died from cyanide poisoning two years later, which was treated as suicide in subsequent inquest.

The new petition says Turing's treatment is still 'a shame on the UK government and UK history', despite a 2009 apology by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

It also says Turing 'was driven to a terrible despair and early death by the nation he'd done so much to save.

'A pardon can go some way to healing this damage,' it says. 'It may act as an apology to many of the other gay men, not as well known as Alan Turing, who were subjected to these laws.'

You can find the petition here. If it is signed by at least 100,000 people it becomes eligible for discussion in the House of Commons.

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Howard Bamforth shared this on Facebook on December 8th 2011.
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