Alan Turing Pardon Denied of the Day: The British House of Lords hasdecided not to pardon World War II codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing, who committed suicide in 1954 after being convicted of homosexuality, chemically castrated, and stripped of his security clearance.
“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,” said Lord McNally last week.
His statement continued:
It is tragic that Alan Turing was convicted of an offence which now seems both cruel and absurd-particularly poignant given his outstanding contribution to the war effort. However, the law at the time required a prosecution and, as such, long-standing policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times.
A petition to pardon Turing was started in 2011, after Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized to the legendary computer scientist on behalf of the government. It has gathered over 21,000 signatures.
2012 is the 100th anniversary of Turing’s birth, and his contributions to the war effort and to computer science are being commemorated with an official postage stamp.
Okay, this is directly copied from the link above; thedailywhat linked this in one of their posts, but they didn’t make a post about that that I could easily reblog.
This sounds, on the surface, like a reasonable decision, right up to the sentence “He would have known that his offence was against the law and that he would be prosecuted.”
No. This is defending past homophobia. It was against the law to be who he was, and while you are saying that you are not condoning it, you are keeping his status as a criminal and using homophobia to excuse it. You have the right to pardon someone for ‘gross indecency’ for a reason; homosexuality is not grossly indecent and saying “well it was at the time” is disgusting.