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Alan Turing's Family Bringing Pardon Petition To English Prime Minister

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The surviving members of Alan Turing’s extended family plan to present a petition to the Prime Minister’s office asking for official pardons for thousands of other gay men and women who, like Turing, were penalized under old British indecency laws.

"I consider it to be fair and just that everybody who was convicted under the Gross Indecency Law is given a pardon,” Rachel Barnes, Turing’s great niece, expressed to The Independent. “It is illogical that my great uncle has been the only one to be pardoned when so many were convicted of the same crime.”

Barnes and Turing’s great nephew Nevil Hunt were joined by Benedict Cumberbatch earlier this year in a failed attempt to garner support from the British royal family. The royal family, according to their representatives, felt as if the decision was not their to weigh in on, but rather was a purely legislative matter.

"Generations of gay and bisexual men were forced to live their lives in a state of terror,” said Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude magazine. "Men convicted of gross indecency were often considered to have brought huge shame on their families and many took their own lives. We still live with the legacy of this period today and it's about time the country addressed this appalling part of our history."

Last night, screenwriter Graham Moore gave a moving acceptance speech for his Best Adapted Screenplay win for The Imitation Game based on Turing's life and career. Backstage afterwards, Moore shared the responsibility he felt to get Turing's story out.

MooreSaid Moore:

When you're approaching a story of this magnitude and you're approaching a life and a person as unique as Alan Turing, there's this tremendous responsibility on your shoulders...to tell his story fairly and accurately and responsibly. Alan is someone who is so mistreated by history. He is someone who as a gay man was persecuted by the government on whose existence he provided for. 


Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Alan Turing And Gay Persecution with Jimmy Kimmel: VIDEO

Cumberbatch

Last night, following the announcement of his wedding, Benedict Cumberbatch appeared on Jimmy Kimmel to promote The Imitation Game.

The actor told the story of how he found out he was nominated for an Oscar, and he also discussed the historic importance of Alan Turing. Not only did Cumberbatch point out Turing's importance to the LGBT community, but also his influence on the tech sector — Silicon Valley and beyond. After Kimmel said he hadn't known Turing before Imitation Game, the actor replied:

He's known amongst the intelligence community, amongst the sort of gods of the computer world, the Silicon Valley, he's known amongst LGBT groups... what we've hoped to have done with this movie is to basically broaden an audience and an understanding of this extraordinary man, who at a very young age invented computer science and the idea of computing... [in terms of government persecution,] This man was utterly wronged...If you ask anybody in Silicon Valley — Bill Gates down — they still use Turing's mathematics.

Cumberbatch also pointed out how Turing's cracking of the Enigma code is estimated to have ended WWII two years early. Check out clips of the Kimmel appearance AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Benedict Cumberbatch Talks Alan Turing And Gay Persecution with Jimmy Kimmel: VIDEO" »


What To Watch This Week on TV: Rosie Stands Up; Quinto's 'Slap'

Quintotheslap

Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— Zachary Quinto stars as just one part of the all-star cast of NBC’s The Slap. The miniseries follows what happens when someone takes it upon themselves to dole out some physical punishment to someone else’s unruly child. The drama unfolds with Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton, Peter Sarsgaard and more, starting Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Cumberbatch, O'Donnell and more on TV this week, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading " What To Watch This Week on TV: Rosie Stands Up; Quinto's 'Slap'" »


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]

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


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