The Pink Triangle Trust

News Release – 11 September 2009

Gay Humanists Welcome PM’s Apology for Alan Turing

Kenilworth, 11 September 2009 — Britain’s only gay humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s apology for the treatment meted out to the wartime cryptologist and mathematician Alan Turing.

The PTT called for an apology earlier this month, when its secretary, George Broadhead, said, “As a gay atheist himself, Alan Turing is a humanist hero and an apology for the appalling way he was treated for being gay is long overdue.”

Computer programmer John Graham-Cumming had launched a Downing Street petition calling for an apology, and the number of signatories was soon in the tens of thousands. By 11 September, it was up to 31,000.

The Prime Minister wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph on 10 September, in which he said:

“Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated.

“While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time, and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair, and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was convicted, under homophobic laws, were treated terribly.

“Over the years, millions more lived in fear in conviction. I am proud that those days are gone and that in the past 12 years this Government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community. This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality, and long overdue.”

“It is certainly not before time that this apology has been issued,” said George Broadhead today. “It is regrettable that it has taken so long for the British government to issue one and to recognise the invaluable work Turing did in altering the course of the Second World War. However, at least Gordon Brown has gone some way towards putting that right, and, of course, we welcome his message. It is particularly apt coming so close to the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.”

Mike Foxwell, editor of Gay and Lesbian Humanist, the PTT’s magazine, added: “Welcome as they are, Gordon Brown’s words of regret are just that. The only act that the British state can now perform is to give Alan Turing the posthumous knighthood he deserved in life for his service to Britain and the world in helping to ensure the defeat of Nazism.

“How very ironic that a man who helped ensure the demise of Nazism was meted out such fascistic treatment by his own country.”

Further information from George Broadhead on 01926 858450.
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Created : Wednesday, 2009-09-16 / Last updated : Friday, 2009-09-25
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