An amazing man named Alan Turing (1912-1954) committed suicide two years after he was convicted of having an affair with a man. In London thousands of bisexual and gay men were convicted of sexual offenses and are now being pardoned by the UK government, the Ministry of Justice.
The law has been titled the Alan Turing Law. They named it after the World War II Enigma code breaker who was wrongfully prosecuted for “gross indecency”. In the year of 1952, he had a same-sex relationship; this was at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the UK.
Under this new law, people who were convicted for a consensual same-sex relationship when homosexuality had been illegal will be pardoned.
People who were convicted of “gross indecency” are able to apply through the Home Office to have their names righted through the “disregard process”. This process deletes the mention of the offense from the person’s criminal record.
— Ministry of Justice (@MoJGovUK) 20 October 2016
The UK is going to pardon 59,000 men convicted of the charge who have passed, and 16,000 men that are still alive can apply for the disregard process.
The Ministry of Justice posted on Twitter stating they have momentous news, and that thousands of bisexual and gay men were being pardoned for now-abolished sexual offenses. This was on October 20, 2016. The government also declared it’s going to introduce a new statutory pardon for the living cases where offenses were deleted through the mentioned process.
The Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said in a statement that it’s very important that we pardon the people who were convicted of historical sexual defense who are innocent of any crime today. She thinks that the existing disregard process serves to meet the commitment to put to right these wrongs.
As stated by the gay rights charity Stonewall, the new law could mean playwright Oscar Wilde should be pardoned also.
After the prosecution, Alan Turing accepted chemical castration instead of going to prison. He was responsible for decrypting Nazi messages during World War II. Two years after his prosecution he committed suicide.
It’s believed by many that he shortened WWII by more than two years and saved the lives of over 14 million people. Churchill described his work on the Enigma code as one of the biggest contributions to the allied victory in the Second World War.
Some people are posting on Twitter their delight in the passing of the new law. One member of the community stated that it was a huge day for the LGBT community and the passing of the Alan Turing law proves that love always wins with multiple hearts. But there are others that feel the passing of the law is not enough.
A man that was convicted of gross indecency in 1974 told BBC that he wanted an apology, not a pardon. George Montague during an interview stated that while he could not be happier about the move, he was not going to accept the pardon because he felt it suggested that he was guilty. He stated that he was not guilty of anything. He was only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A member of the twitter community stated that pardon is a legal term; good but not good enough. Now we are in need of an apology for the law that prosecuted thousands of bisexual and gay people.
The gay rights charity Stonewall also believes that the pardon isn’t quite enough, Mashable reported.
The director of research, policy, and campaigns, Paul Twocock, sent an email to Mashable. He stated that they welcomed the government announcement to issue a pardon to all bi and gay men who were unjustly prosecuted for being who they are. Yet they feel that this effort doesn’t go far enough.