Half A Million People Petition For The Pardon Of These 49,000 Men
A petition calling for the 49,000 gay men prosecuted in the UK to be pardoned is rapidly gaining momentum, and has now gained nearly half a millions signatures.
These men were convicted of gross indecency when being homosexual was still illegal. It is estimated that around 15,000 of the men are still alive today.
The petition was due to be handed in at Downing Street this morning by the family of codebreaker, Alan Turning. The recent release of Imitation Game. in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, has helped raise awareness to a wider group of people. In the film we get an insight into how how Turing was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency with a 19-year-old man. He was then chemically castrated, and two years later died from cyanide poisoning in an apparent suicide.
The movie won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay in yesterday evening’s ceremony.
Turing was given a posthumous royal pardon in 2013 and campaigners want the government to pardon all the men convicted under the outdated law. It has to be said, this should happen. All of these men were wrongly convicted for something that should never have been a crime in the first place.
A comment from one of the 49,000 in question appears underneath the Change.org petition. This man is 91 and wants his conviction overturned before he dies. can you blame him?
Matthew Todd, the editor of Attitude Magazine, who will be one of those visiting Downing Street, was quoted as saying : “Generations of gay and bisexual men were forced to live their lives in a state of terror.
“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.”
The petition will most likely have been handed in by now, but you can still sign it. Hopefully more signatures after it has been handed in will strengthen the case further.