START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,313,753 people care about Politics

Update: British PM Apologizes Over “Awful” Treatment of Gay Scientist Alan Turing

Update: British PM Apologizes Over “Awful” Treatment of Gay Scientist Alan Turing

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has issued a posthumous apology over the treatment of gay scientist and mathematician Alan Turing, a man who helped the British Government unlock the secret of the Enigma Code and therefore contributed to the WWII Allied victory, calling the government’s treatment of the scientist “awful” and “utterly unfair”.

Rather than being treated like a war hero, Turing was convicted for being a homosexual and was given female hormone injections as a cure. He committed suicide just two years after at the age of 41. As well as his work during the war-effort, Turing is widely considered to be the father of modern day computer science, no doubt giving impetus to the international appeal for a formal apology.

A paragraph of Gordon Brown’s apology acknowledges Turing as a man of great recognition, yes, but also goes some way to including all those that, like him, were so horribly persecuted because of their sexuality:

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time, and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair, and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was convicted, under homophobic laws, were treated terribly. Over the years, millions more lived in fear of conviction. I am proud that those days are gone and that in the past 12 years this Government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community. This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality, and long overdue.

To read the rest of Gordon Brown’s statement, please click here.

The creator of the first UK based Alan Turing petition, John Graham-Cumming, computer programmer and author of The Geek Atlas, has reacted warmly to Gordon Brown’s statement, but recognized that this was not the final point of discussion:

“For me, it’s the end of my campaign. But for others it is not. It’s vital that Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing secure funding to keep them alive.”

This is in reference to the fact that the historical building in which Alan Turing and other code-breakers worked during the war has been repeatedly denied funding under Britain’s Labour Government, first by former PM Tony Blair, and now by Gordon Brown’s administration too.

To find out about the campaign to save Bletchley Park Museum please click here.

Lastly, an apology is a good first step, but Alan Turing and the hundred-thousand like him who were convicted of gross indecency because of their homosexuality are still classed by government records as criminals. All of them need to be officially pardoned. 

Do you agree?

Read more: , , , ,


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jessie St. Amand.


quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

8 comments

+ add your own
11:03AM PDT on Sep 26, 2009

My son is gay and a wonderful, caring, kind person, the USA should give equal rights to gays also. Decriminalization is but the first step. There are many more rights that my straight childrfen have that my gay one doesn't. Let's get with it, citizens!!

7:28AM PDT on Sep 14, 2009

While UK should pardon all those convicted of being gay and apologize; at least they have gotten over their maddness. We may not lock up our gays here and charge them with being gay; we certainly don't offer them the equality that they have in the UK now. Perhaps we will someday grow out of that too.

3:47AM PDT on Sep 14, 2009

It is better late, than never! He might not ever get this apology in America?

8:08PM PDT on Sep 13, 2009

It never fails to astonish me when I find out about some of the contributors to the lives we live. The land that I live on was taken from people with such good hearts that they didn't understand prowess and died for me; the people that build the economy of this land by their free labor were enslaved and owned; the intellectuals such as Turing were demeaned and shattered; I THANK THEM ALL and I'm grateful and sorry too!

12:34PM PDT on Sep 13, 2009

This just goes to show that no good turn goes unpunished. As a Christian I may or not agree with something;however, I chose to approach things with an attitude of love.

The English community owes Turing a debt of gradititude. That man did not deserve that kind of treatment.

11:09AM PDT on Sep 13, 2009

Turing commited suicide by eating an apple laced with poison. This is the product logo we all commonly know as `Apple`, and their products carry testimony to a great mind.

1:33PM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

Corrected version:

I absoluely agree! The treatment of gays is appauling, even still. While Turing's inhumane treatment is no greater than others who suffered similarly, the loss of his great genious is tragic for all humanity.

BTW, one of Turing's legacies many Internet users experience almost daily: Captcha (the scrambled words and letters used to very human-entry on Web forms). It's an acronym for:

...

1:30PM PDT on Sep 11, 2009

I absoluely agree! The treatment of gays is appauling, even still. While Turing's inhumane treatment is no greater than other show suffered similarly, the loss of his great genious is tragic for all humanity.

BTW, one of Turing's legacies many Internet users experiance alomost daily: Captcha (the scrambled words and letters used to very human-entry on Web forms). It's an acronym for:

Completely Automated Public Turing-test telling Computers and Humans Apart.

Not just pardoned. Build some monuments!

-cindy

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

The loyalty of some dogs is heartbreaking. Buddy must have terrified for both himself and his owner.…

Keep fighting Jyll -- you have everything that's good and caring on your side -- you're a clear-thinking,…

meet our writers

Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.