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Labour proposes 'Turing's Law' to pardon convicted gay men

Ed Miliband has announced that a Labour government would pass a “Turing’s law” allowing the relatives of deceased gay men convicted under now-repealed indecency laws to obtain a pardon.

Alan Turing Credit: Press Association

The family of Wilmslow codebreaker Alan Turing have been campaigning for pardons for 49,000 other men persecuted like him for their homosexuality.

Turing, whose work cracking the German military codes was vital to the British war effort against Nazi Germany, was convicted in 1952 for gross indecency with a 19-year-old man.

He was given a postumous royal pardon in 2013.

Under the Labour plan, the family and friends of dead men would be able to apply to the Home Office to have gross indecency convictions quashed where they involved consensual same-sex relationships

Under legislation passed three years ago people still alive with convictions of this kind can already have them expunged from the record.

Turing family demand pardons for thousands of gay men

The family of Alan Turing have been to Downing Street to demand pardons for thousands of men prosecuted for being gay.

The Second World War code-breaker from Wilmslow was convicted over his sexuality. He was given a posthumous royal pardon two years ago.

His great-niece Rachel Barnes handed in a petition, with almost 500,000 signatures. She, and her son Tom, told ITV News that the family have had an incredible year and hope awareness surrounding Alan Turing can help thousands of other families.

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Alan Turing's family demand pardons for men convicted under anti-gay laws

The family of Wilmslow codebreaker Alan Turing will visit Downing Street today to demand the Government pardons 49,000 other men persecuted like him for their homosexuality.

Alan Turing Credit: Press Association

Turing, whose work cracking the German military codes was vital to the British war effort against Nazi Germany, was convicted in 1952 for gross indecency with a 19-year-old man.

He was given a postumous royal pardon in 2013.

Turing's great-niece and great-niece will hand over the petition, which attracted almost half-a-million signatures.

Alan Turing's family plea for more homosexual pardons

The family of Wilmslow codebreaker Alan Turing will visit Downing Street on Monday to demand the Government pardons 49,000 other men persecuted like him for their homosexuality.

Turing, whose work cracking the German military codes was vital to the British war effort against Nazi Germany, was convicted in 1952 for gross indecency with a 19-year-old man.

Alan Turing Credit: Press Association

He was chemically castrated, and two years later died from cyanide poisoning in an apparent suicide.

He was given a posthumous royal pardon in 2013 and campaigners want the Government to pardon all the men convicted under the same outdated law.

Turing's great-nephew, Nevil Hunt, his great-niece, Rachel Barnes, and her son, Thomas, will hand over the petition, which was signed by almost half-a-million people.

"I consider it to be fair and just that everybody who was convicted under the Gross Indecency Law is given a pardon.

It is illogical that my great uncle has been the only one to be pardoned when so many were convicted of the same crime.

I feel sure that Alan Turing would have also wanted justice for everybody."

– ALAN TURING'S GREAT-NIECE RACHEL BARNES

Alan Turing film nominated for eight Oscars

A film based on the work of the genius mathematician Alan Turing, who developed some of the world's first computers when he worked at Manchester University, has been nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

Alan Turing is played by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game Credit: Manchester University/PA

The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, and follows his work cracking the Enigma code during the Second World War.

The film is nominated for Best Picture and Best Director among others, while starts Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley are nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Light spectacular pays tribute to Alan Turing

Alan Turing light spectacular Credit: Stephen King.

Tonight there will be a special tribute to Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing on Salford Quays. Two of the most powerful lasers in the world will beam out 'thank you' in morse code two miles into the sky in recognition of the Wilmslow mathematician.

Turing was a mathematical genius and the father of the modern computer, much of his ground breaking work was conducted at The University of Manchester.

Artist Craig Morrison created ‘Thank You’ in memory of all the men and women who served in the First and Second World War, and to thank Alan Turing for the many lives he helped to save.

The light show will take place for the next week and will form the centre-piece of this year’s Manchester Histories Festival.

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Turing's 'distress' letter sent to friends before conviction

A letter sent from Alan Turing to his mathematician friend Norman Routledge shows the codebreaker's worries and "distress" ahead of pleading guilty to gross indecency in 1952.

An excerpt from the communication is printed on the website Letters of Note, citing a Turing biography by Andrew Hodges.

I've now got myself into the kind of trouble that I have always considered to be quite a possibility for me, though I have usually rated it at about 10:1 against.

I shall shortly be pleading guilty to a charge of sexual offences with a young man.

The story of how it all came to be found out is a long and fascinating one, which I shall have to make into a short story one day, but haven't the time to tell you now.

No doubt I shall emerge from it all a different man, but quite who I've not found out.

Glad you enjoyed broadcast. Jefferson certainly was rather disappointing though.

I'm afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future.

Turing believes machines thinkTuring lies with menTherefore machines do not think

Yours in distress,

Alan

– Letter from Alan Turing to Norman Routledge

Campaigner 'very happy' about Royal pardon

Campaigner William Jones, who began the petition to give Alan Turing a Royal pardon in 2011, has said he is "very happy" about today's news.

Talking about the Royal pardon, he said:

"This is fantastic for Alan Turing - but this is not the end of the story for the gay, lesbian and bi-sexual people who were convicted in similar cases.

For them, the campaign continues."

– William Jones, campaigner
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