And so after 59 years Prime Minister Gordon Brown has finally apologized to Alan Turing on behalf of the British government. Whoa, feeling a little bit unloved there Mr Brown? Alan Turing was a code cracking genius and modern computing pioneer who was an invaluable asset to the British government during World War II. You all remember the movie Enigma right? Hmm, well Mr Turing had one little secret, he was gay. In 1952 the code cracker was arrest and convicted of “homosexual acts” and for his troubles was chemically castrated. Two years later a sad and broken Turing committed suicide by chomping on a cyanide-laced apple. Geez, they had such dramatic ways back then!
Hmm, now don’t be thinking Gordon Brown came up with this apologetic act on his own people, nope this was in direct response to a petition organized by computer scientist John Graham-Cumming. The petition was signed by over 30,000 people including Richard Dawkins and Ian McEwan. There is now a push to persuade the Queen to give Alan Turing a posthumous knighthood. Why not, she hands them out willy nilly anyways.
Part of Mr Brown’s speech read “Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly.On behalf of the British Government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.”
Wanna read more about Alan Turing ? Great article by Geoffrey Wansell at the Daily Mail.