Alan Turing’s family to deliver pardons petition to 10 Downing Street

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Relatives of codebreaker Alan Turing will deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street, calling for all men persecuted for their sexuality to be pardoned.

Turing, often hailed as the grandfather of modern computing, was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 after having sex with a man, and was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and eventually driven to suicide.

An apology for Alan Turing was issued by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009, and the Queen in 2013 granted a rare posthumous pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

However, members of Mr Turing’s family will deliver a petition to Downing Street tomorrow, signed by 512,000 signatories, to pardon the 49,000 other men who were convicted under anti-gay laws.

Mr Turing’s great-nephew Nevil Hunt, great-niece, Rachel Barnes, and her son Thomas will hand over the petition.

Ms Barnes said: “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.”

The petition states: “Pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British “gross indecency” law (only repealed in 2003), and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay laws.

“Each of these 49,000 men deserves the justice and acknowledgment from the British government that this intolerant law brought not only unwarranted shame, but horrific physical and mental damage and lost years of wrongful imprisonment to these men.

“Alan Turing was pardoned in 2013, but the other estimated 49,000 men deserve the same.”

The majority of the 49,000 men cited in the petition are deceased.

People with historic gay sex convictions who are still alive can already have them expunged under 2012’s Protection of Freedoms Act – but records cannot be expunged posthumously.