by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
More than 28,000 people have signed an official petition urging British Prime Minister Gordon Brown “to apologize for the prosecution of Alan Turing that led to his untimely death.”
The petition is online at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/turing/.
Turing, who was gay, is considered to be the founder of modern computing and was credited with cracking Nazi military codes during World War II, helping save Britain from German conquest.
“Without Turing and other code-crackers, we might be living in the Third Reich,” said leading gay activist Peter Tatchell. “He helped us defeat fascism and win the war. Turing’s arrest and conviction in 1952 for a consenting gay relationship, and his subsequent chemical castration to supposedly ‘cure’ his homosexuality, were barbaric, inhuman abuses of a truly outstanding war hero.”
“Removing his security clearance and preventing him from continuing his work at GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) was an added insult and humiliation, which ultimately drove him to depression and suicide in 1954. With Turing’s death, Britain and the world lost one of its finest intellectual minds,” Tatchell said.
Turing was one of some 100,000 British homosexuals convicted in the 20th century under laws that banned gay sex, Tatchell said.