'Turing Law' Will Pardon 65K Convicted for Being Gay
Most of the victims of Britain's anti-gay laws are dead now
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2016 2:49 PM CDT
Alan Turing, the World War II code-breaking genius, was one of the most famous victims of Britain's anti-gay laws. Approximately 65,000 others will receive pardons, most of them posthumously.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

(Newser) – Approximately 65,000 gay and bisexual men—only 15,000 of whom are still living—convicted under Britain's "gross indecency" and "buggery" laws will be pardoned, USA Today reports. According to the Independent, the pardons, which were announced Thursday, come as an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill. The amendment is being called the "Turing Law" after Alan Turing, who—along with Oscar Wilde—was one of the most famous victims of Britain's anti-gay laws, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The invaluable WWII code breaker was chemically castrated after his conviction and committed suicide shortly thereafter.

Turing was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, and his great niece, Rachel Barnes, tells the Independent it's "absolutely right" that all others convicted under the laws, which were done away with in 1967, be pardoned as well. While the dead will be pardoned automatically, the 15,000 or so men still alive can apply to be pardoned. But not all of them are interested. George Montague tells the BBC he wants an apology instead, arguing that to be pardoned is to admit to wrongdoing in the first place. "I was not guilty of anything," he says. The British government says a pardon is the best tool available to make things right.
 

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