With The Imitation Game in the spotlight tonight at the Oscars, it’s worth remembering that the British government only apologized for its treatment of the film’s subject, pioneering codebreaker and computer scientist Alan Turing, in 2009 after an Internet campaign. Turing didn’t receive a pardon for his “crimes” until 2013.
Turing committed suicide in 1954, following chemical castration treatments he accepted as an alternative to prison time following his conviction for homosexuality under Britain’s Gross Indecency law.
Monday, Turing’s great-nephew Nevil Hunt, great-niece, Rachel Barnes and her son, Thomas, intend to present a petition to the British Prime Minister’s office requesting the British government also grant posthumous pardons to the 49,000 other men whom – much like Turing – were prosecuted for homosexuality. The petition has garnered nearly 500,000 signatures so far.
“I consider it to be fair and just that everybody who was convicted under the Gross Indecency law is given a pardon,” Barnes said, according to The Guardian. “It is illogical that my great uncle has been the only one to be pardoned when so many were convicted of the same crime. I feel sure that Alan Turing would have also wanted justice for everybody.”
You can sign the petition here.