The UK Government is being urged to pardon 49,000 men and women who were persecuted under Anti-Gay Laws.
The action comes in response to the film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the publics newfound awareness of gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing who was convicted of “gross indecency” for being gay.
LGBT 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.
Following a screening of The Imitation Game in London, actor Stephen Fry said the pardon was only the start of what should be done to honor Turing.
“Should Alan Turing have been pardoned just because he was a genius, 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. 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.”
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. There’s also a Change.org petition underway for the campaign HERE.