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News Round-Up Week Ending 23.9.16

(Posted on 23/09/16)


Alan Turing gay pardon law imminent.

1967: as the Beatles release All You Need is Love, homosexuality is decriminalized, finally ending the threat of prosecution for gay men.

2016: the government is to bring forward legislation to pardon men convicted under historical gross indecency laws.

"At times you were fearful of being prosecuted... it was the case for many people that they retreated, never committing sexual acts," retired history professor Roger Lockyer told the BBC this week. "I think it's right [to pardon the men], it was a miscarriage of justice. They may have been legally convicted, but they were unjustly convicted."

The so-called Alan Turing law could see thousands of men pardoned. Winston Churchill described Turing’s work to break Nazi codes as the single biggest contribution to ending the Second World War. Turing himself was granted a royal pardon in 2013 of his 1952 conviction for ‘gross indecency’ with a 19-year-old man, after which he was chemically castrated. Turing died in 1954. The coroner’s verdict of suicide has since been disputed.

Turing’s relatives have led a high-profile campaign to secure pardons for the 49,000 other men convicted under historical indecency laws, receiving support from TV presenter Stephen Fry and actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Turing in the film The Imitation Game.