Tens of thousands of homosexual men pardoned for past ‘crimes’
A new rule means old judgements are no longer fit for purpose. In 2013, Alan Turing was pardoned. His conviction for gross indecency quashed. Turing, ‘creator of the modern computer’, committed suicide in 1954. His crime was to have been gay.
What this pardon does for him is debatable. What is does for the State is clear: it absolves the current crop of blame. It makes them look good and on the right side of history. Turing remains convicted.
Today the State decreed that thousands of gay and bisexual men found guilty of breaking the law for breathing have been posthumously pardoned. Around 49,000 men have been cleared.
All male homosexual activity was illegal until 1967. Tuning was guilty of having a relationship with another man. He accepted a deal: he’d have hormonal treatment, a chemical castration, to set him on the straight and narrow. Turning, a hero who had aided Britain’s war effort considerably – his work in cracking the German Enigma code was of huge benefit to the Allies – was deemed a security risk. Police watched him. A great mind was made a pariah, an enemy of the State, by dint of his sexuality.
As for the pardon, well, it’s a gesture that reduces the victims to symbols.
Turning, a man whose name should be synonymous with great intellects and the war effort is now associated with gay rights and today’s moralists. His sexuality had no business of the State’s then; it has no business of the State’s now. So too all other convicted of a heinous law.
Leave these people alone. They suffered enough.