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UK Government Urged to Pardon the 49,000 Men and Women Who Were Persecuted Under Anti-gay Laws

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Spurred to action in response to the public's newfound awareness of gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, actors and activists are now calling on the British government to pardon the tens of thousands of other British citizens who were persecuted under draconian anti-gay laws of the past. 

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing, who committed suicide after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being gay.

Following a screening of The Imitation Game in London Wednesday, actor Stephen Fry said the pardon was only the start of what should be done to honor Turing. 

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Fry

"Should Alan Turing have been pardoned just because he was a genius," Fry asked, "when somewhere between 50 to 70 thousand other men were imprisoned, chemically castrated, had their lives ruined or indeed committed suicide because of the laws under which Turing suffered? There is a general feeling that perhaps if he should be pardoned, then perhaps so should all of those men, whose names were ruined in their lifetime, but who still have families." He continued, "It was a nasty, malicious and horrific law and one that allowed so much blackmail and so much misery and so much distress. Turing stands as a figure symbolic to his own age in the way that Oscar Wilde was, who suffered under a more but similar one."

[Benedict] Cumberbatch, meanwhile, emailed THR from the set of the next Sherlock series to offer his full and enthusiastic agreement with Fry's idea. "Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do. 60 years later, that same government claimed to ‘forgive’ him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness — theirs did — and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same."

HRC president Chad Griffin ran an ad in Friday's New York Times on the campaign to pardon the other 49,000 persecuted gay men and women. You can check out the full ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

There's also a Change.org petition underway for the campaign HERE

Continue reading "UK Government Urged to Pardon the 49,000 Men and Women Who Were Persecuted Under Anti-gay Laws" »


The Gay Viewer's Guide to This Year's Oscars: VIDEO

Oscars

Daily Xtra's Gordon Bowness and Indiewire's Peter Knegt have pored over the Oscar nominations and picked out all the content that can be discussed with a gay-angle in mind. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

The 87th Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air February 22. 

[h/t boyculture]

Continue reading "The Gay Viewer's Guide to This Year's Oscars: VIDEO" »


Benedict Cumberbatch Gives Impassioned Speech on 'Gay Icon' Alan Turing at Film Festival: VIDEO

Cumberbatch

Accepting the ensemble performance award for The Imitation Game at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this past weekend, actor Benedict Cumberbatch spoke at length about Alan Turing, calling the World War II codebreaker at the center of the film a "war hero, a gay icon, and the father of modern computer science."

TuringSaid Cumberbatch:

He's a man who died tragically early due to a government he helped free from facism by his work in World War II cracking the Enigma Code, rewarding him for his nature for quietly confessing to who he was - as a gay man in a time of intolerance in the 50s...Any attention this fiilm is getting, including us being awarded at this very prestigious awards night at the Palm Springs Awards we thank you for it - we dedicate to Alan.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Popsugar]

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Alan Turing Comes Out In New Clip From 'The Imitation Game': VIDEO

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The man who broke the Nazi's Enigma code and conceived the modern computer was also, as they used to say, a "homosexual."

In this new clip from The Imitation Game, mathematician/genius Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) reveals his true nature while at a nightclub, chatting with a friend (played by Downton Abbey's Allen Leech). The scene is notable for the fact that it's Turing's friend who actually outs him, uttering the "H" word as Turing stumbles trying to explain his feelings towards his dancing date (a spinning Keira Knightley). Homosexuality at that time was illegal in the UK and Turing was persecuted and eventually prosecuted for it, leading to his tragic suicide.

The Imitation Game opened to strong reviews and huge audiences in four theatres last weekend, grossing a stunning $120,000 per screen average. By comparison, The Kings Speech opened in a similar number of theatres in 2010 grossing $88,000 per screen. The Weinstein Company is positioning the Turing biopic for awards season, and there has been big buzz about Cumberbatch being nominated for his first Oscar. However, there's also been some criticism of the film's lack of sex scenes for his character and the fact that some liberties were taken regarding Turing's relationship with the woman being discussed in the clip, who is apparently portrayed more as a failed romance than a friend. You can watch the full scene, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Alan Turing Comes Out In New Clip From 'The Imitation Game': VIDEO" »


Matthew Goode Defends Defends Lack of Gay Sex Scene in 'The Imitation Game'

London-09-matthew-goodeLike his co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game actor Matthew Goode has spoken out, defending the film's omission of a gay sex scene.

You may recognize Goode from past projects, and if so, you'll know he doesn't shy away from LGBT subject matter — he's made what The Daily Beast describes as "queer turns" in Brideshead Revisited, A Single Man, and Watchmen.

Goode notes that in the example of Imitation Game, not including a sex scene may help bring the film to a wider audience, and he won't be surprised if it opens doors for future Turing biopics. Speaking with TDB, Goode said:

You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t...I’m glad that we didn’t [include a gay sex scene]. There’s many things we tried to get right, and I think it would’ve been too far, in the first film. I’m sure there will be other films about Turing that are ‘braver.’ But for bringing this story to a greater audience around the world, I think we gave him a film that he deserved.

What do you think of Goode's statement? Planning to see The Imitation Game this weekend? Sound off in the comments.


Benedict Cumberbatch Defends Absence of Gay Sex Scene in Alan Turing Biopic 'The Imitation Games'

Turing

During World War II, Alan Turing, who is known as the father of modern computing, devised the Turing Bombe, a codebreaking device that was used to decipher the Nazi enigma codes, up to 3,000 messages per day. He was also gay, and two years after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being homosexual and sentenced to undergo chemical castration, he killed himself with a cyanide-laced apple.

Turing2The Imitation Game, the upcoming biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the gay codebreaker, has faced criticism lately for what could arguably be considered a "castration" of a different sort - the lack of any scene depicting Turing being sexually intimate with another man. 

The Sunday Times reports that there was a sex scene involving Turing and another man present in early drafts of the script, but it was cut out of the final film version - which, according to Turing biographer Andrew Hodges, over-emphasizes Turing's relationship with colleague Joan Clarke (played by Keira Knightley).

In an interview with The Telegraph, Cumberbatch defended the film against such criticism, saying:

‘For me there’s explicit love in the film, and the fact of his sexuality being homosexual doesn’t make any difference. If it would have added to the film, we’d have done it. I’d have no qualms about filming those scenes, expressing that side of a character’s relationship to his body. It’s partly to do with the logical loop of the film, the poetical loop. It’s about what’s not seen, it’s about secrets, what’s repressed – and his sexuality was. This is a man who’s never going to be allowed to love, and that’s really his tragedy and the tragedy of the film.’

Last month, Cumberbatch spoke about how an explicit gay sex scene would have taken away from the film's "subtle storytelling."

Audiences will have to wait till November 28 to decide for themselves if the lack of such a scene helped or hurt the overall film.


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