Alan Turing | News

UK Codebreaker Alan Turing Receives Royal Pardon

Nearly six decades after he took his own life following a conviction of "gross indecency" for being a homosexual, the famed World War II codebreaker Alan Turing has finally been granted a royal pardon by the UK government. The Guardian reports:

Alan TuringTuring was considered to be the father of modern computer science and was most famous for his work in helping to create the "bombe" that cracked messages enciphered with the German Enigma machines. He was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 after admitting a sexual relationship with a man.

He was given experimental chemical castration as a "treatment". His criminal record resulted in the loss of his security clearance and meant he was no longer able to work for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), where he had been employed following service at Bletchley Park during the war. He died of cyanide poisoning in 1954, aged 41.

Announcing the pardon, [justice secretary Chris] Grayling said: "Dr Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind. His brilliance was put into practice at Bletchley Park during the second world war, where he was pivotal to breaking the Enigma code, helping to end the war and save thousands of lives.

"His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed.

"Dr Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

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  1. "A pardon from the Queen" means nothing. She should abdicate in shame and see that the monarchy is dissolved, Buckham Palace shoudl be burned and the dome of St. Pauls should be caved in.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 9:21:19 AM

  2. Just sayin'

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 9:27:53 AM

  3. About bloody time !
    This is an egregious example, as if we needed any more, of the centuries of bigotry towards gays. " Chemical castration" for being gay, in the fifties !!!!!... and to one of Britain's greatest intelligence officers.
    It demonstrates the virulent rabid malice of the anti-gays, whether Phuck Dynasty, Frothy, Perkins, Brown, Lively et al.
    They all have the same visceral response to gay sex........
    But Turing's life was ruined, and when he should have been given accolades, he was given a gun, metaphorically, and told do the honourable thing.
    I write this post because I believe that the malice against gays in the fifties still exists .....and will poke it Duck head up when it can.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 24, 2013 9:31:39 AM

  4. @UFFDA:

    For nearly half a century this Queen has worked incredibly hard to break down barriers across racial, social and now sexual-oriented Barriers that no Royal has ever even attempted. Queen E. rocks!

    But you? Not so much. You poor pathetic lil' creature. No one to luv your pus-filled corpus during the Horrordays? AWWWwwwwwwwww!


    Posted by: q | Dec 24, 2013 9:32:05 AM

  5. Correction:
    ".....and will poke its Duck head up when it can."

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 24, 2013 9:34:03 AM

  6. She's a good queen no doubt, but "worked incredibly hard"...she has humane opinions, that's it, everyone else does the work of propagating them. Besides, what I said was certainly tongue in cheek, but as a monarchist you couldn't tell.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 9:52:11 AM

  7. In queen's English:
    "Now know ye that we, in consideration of circumstances humbly represented to us, are graciously pleased to grant our grace and mercy unto the said Alan Mathison Turing and grant him our free pardon posthumously in respect of the said convictions."

    Posted by: simon | Dec 24, 2013 9:54:50 AM

  8. It is about damn time! Our country was just as guilty of the same offenses to our LGBT brothers and sisters, in many cases, it is still going on.

    Posted by: jsb | Dec 24, 2013 10:09:05 AM

  9. The Queen may well be pro-gay.......her mother was ! an old fashioned Liberace kinda way !!!
    And the Queen does have a gay son after all !!!

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 24, 2013 10:09:07 AM

  10. We'll ... That brought tears of happiness. As others have said, it was long overdue. Now for a holiday designated in his name so all British citizens never forget this incredible man is certainly called for.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 24, 2013 10:56:46 AM

  11. This is well and good and quite overdue, but to my way of thinking Turing deserves an apology not a pardon, . It is England and the queen who ought to be asking for pardon.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Dec 24, 2013 11:25:43 AM

  12. Is there ANYTHING more ANNOYING and conceited then the hackneyed expression of " Just sayin'" ?

    With the possible exception of REALLY saying "I am smart, look at me!" You are not really saying ANYTHING at all, except that you are simply no longer going to defend a claim that you made before. On the other hand Alan Turing was a genius with real staying power . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 24, 2013 11:26:10 AM

  13. But there ain't no forgiving that haircut.

    Posted by: Quicksilver | Dec 24, 2013 11:40:34 AM

  14. It's 2013, why did it take so long. I mean wouldn't the relevant authorities have grown a conscience about the way this guy was persecuted at least 10 years ago?

    I guess as the saying goes, better late than never.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Dec 24, 2013 11:45:30 AM

  15. Hey Mike..."just sayin'" IS annoying for sure. That's why people use it. It's fake humility and I learned it on this site. I will desist as some of us don't need any more ways to aggravate people.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 11:47:22 AM

  16. Leave me alone. I'm alone on Christmas. As I always am. Let me have my fun. This is all I have to live for.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 11:55:38 AM

  17. No, the British royals are quite conservative. The former labor govt. under Gordon Brown couldn't get the establishment to pardon Turing and had to give up. That was about six years ago. What's probably happened is the Prince Charles has taken over a lot of "duties" from his mother, since a recent series of news reports have shown that Charles and the Queen send letters of negotiation back and forth to the PM over bills pending and other matters. They are more active than previously thought. In this case, I suspect Charles was willing to pardon Turing and the Queen relented, probably because he said he'd do it once King anyway.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 24, 2013 12:48:13 PM

  18. The monarch doesn't actually have any input into this decision. It isn't her choice who to pardon and who not to. It's an entirely political decision taken by the Prime Minister and the government.

    The Queen just rubber stamps decisions like this.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 24, 2013 12:48:49 PM

  19. The pretentions to clairvoyance on this site are among the most amusing and fatuous to be enjoyed. LOL.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 1:08:23 PM

  20. Thank you. Have a great 2014 UFFDA!

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 24, 2013 1:15:36 PM

  21. Too little, and far far too late.

    While we're talking about the entitled people, I want Chuck to be King. He's the man that monarchists deserve on their money. He represents them accurately, though not well.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 24, 2013 2:19:07 PM

  22. Chris:
    In defense of certain more enlightened conservatives. People here asked why it took so long. That's is because society changes only slowly. The issue came up previously under the Labor government. They couldn't get it done. It is kind of ironic. It was the conservative PM Cameron who pushed the same-sex marriage through parliament. It is also the conservative government who got Turing pardoned.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 24, 2013 2:54:09 PM

  23. Merry Christmas everyone. Let's open our presents and close our mouths. I'll try.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 24, 2013 4:31:36 PM

    You got a good point.
    The former government has already made an apology. In a sense they did things in reverse order.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 24, 2013 5:48:38 PM

  25. UFFDA is right!
    In Alan Turings memory
    Snowmen NOT snowball fights on this holidays eve.

    Merry Christmas to ALL!!!

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 24, 2013 6:22:10 PM

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