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Alan Turing Likely To Be Given Posthumous Pardon

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the about-damn-time dept.

United Kingdom 210

pegdhcp writes with news that the UK government has signaled its intent to support a bill that would issue a posthumous pardon to Alan Turing, who is known for his work in defeating the German Enigma code machines in World War II and widely considered the father of computer science. Turing was charged with and convicted of "gross indecency" in 1952 for being gay. He was sentenced to chemical castration, and he committed suicide two years later. "The announcement marks a change of heart by the government, which declined last year to grant pardons to the 49,000 gay men, now dead, who were convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. They include Oscar Wilde. ... [Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon] told peers: "Alan Turing himself believed that homosexual activity would be made legal by a royal commission. In fact, appropriately, it was parliament which decriminalized the activity for which he was convicted. The government are very aware of the calls to pardon Turing, given his outstanding achievements, and have great sympathy with this objective That is why the government believe it is right that parliament should be free to respond to this bill in whatever way its conscience dictates and in whatever way it so wills."

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Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (1, Interesting)

Follow Meeee (2990709) | about 9 months ago | (#44336435)

Microsoft's Bill Gates, the worlds richest man and a former boy scout, wants the boy scouts to lift the gay ban [huffingtonpost.com] . Gates said he had enjoyed being a Scout. When Allen turned the conversation to the organization's ban on gay members and leaders, Gates said the policy "absolutely" needed to be scrapped. "Why," prodded Allen. "Because it's 2013," Gates replied, prompting a spontaneous burst of boisterous applause from the audience.

ThinkProgress notes that Gates has shown his support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality measures in the past, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the Washington state marriage equality campaign.

The Boy Scouts has come under increasing fire lately for its longstanding ban on gay members, with poll numbers and a host of celebrities lending support to the cause.

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (3, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 9 months ago | (#44336603)

Not to similar. The Boy Scouts are not sentencing people "to chemical castration."

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (2)

pbhj (607776) | about 9 months ago | (#44336631)

Turing was sentenced to 1 year in prison. He was give the option to avoid prison by undergoing hormone therapy.

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 9 months ago | (#44336851)

Stilboestrol has all sorts of nasty side effects. Would you like breasts to go with your formerly masculine physique?

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#44336897)

He was give the option to avoid prison by undergoing hormone therapy...

... hormone therapy which left him impotent and with breasts.

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336943)

Not to similar. The Boy Scouts are not sentencing people "to chemical castration."

The would if they could.

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#44337357)

Not to similar. The Boy Scouts are not sentencing people "to chemical castration."

You mean you can't work for a "Chemical castration" award?

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336653)

Well, whaddya know; another nearly off-topic pro-MS first-post by a new member.

Turin test (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 9 months ago | (#44336817)

"... We both pray for an hour, and see if God can tell the difference." - The Long War by Pratchett and Baxter.

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (1, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 9 months ago | (#44336975)

It's nothing like that.

1. The BSA is a private organization, not the government.
1A. The BSA can't incarcerate anyone for violating the ban.
1B. The BSA ban isn't a law, it's a rule.

2. Why is it so important for gay men to get out into the woods with little boys?

LK

Re:Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (3, Insightful)

Dominare (856385) | about 9 months ago | (#44337085)

1. The BSA is a private organization, not the government.

A 'private' organization that nevertheless enjoys an extremely close relationship with said government, starting with the congressional charter and extending throughout all the special treatment given to them and their members by local schools, fire and police departments, and particularly the military. People defending them are always quick to claim the BSA receives 'no federal funds' but that's not really accurate since the taxpayer pays for the schools and the schools in turn financially sponsor the local BSA chapter in many cases. So the BSA is a private organization only when it suits them, and it suits them when their true homophobic colors are under attack, oh yes.

Re: Similar Gay Boy Scout Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337005)

The boy scouts now allow gay members. Do y'all live under a rock?
www.campkc.com/campkc-content.php?Page_ID=2067

Screw them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336459)

He gets pardoned for his "outstanding achievements". Yet again, it isn't the Rule of Law or ethics that rules Britain, but fame. If you are famous, you get off. And if you are not famous and the law is horribly immoral, then you are fucked.

Re:Screw them (2)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 9 months ago | (#44336465)

The summary suggests the pardon is for all 49,000 convictions Turing is singoed out here because this is Slashdot. An arts news site would have singled out Wilde.

Re:Screw them (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336473)

No it doesn't.

There WAS a bill last year to pardon 49,000 people, including Turing. It failed.

There is nothing in the summary or TFA that indicates whether the new bill is for that same group of 49,000, or for Turning alone. You MAY be right, but neither the summary or TFA supports that conclusion.

Re:Screw them (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336503)

No, the pardon is specifically for Alan Turing. That's why it's called the "Alan Turing (Statutory Pardon) Bill [HL] 2012-13"

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/alanturingstatutorypardon.html [parliament.uk]

Re:Screw them (4, Insightful)

Blue Stone (582566) | about 9 months ago | (#44337199)

That's shameful. His name and reputation deserve a pardon, but so do all the others.

In a sense, since the person is not alive anymore, a post-humous pardon is mostly about showing contrition - the state's for its actions toward others - and moving forward in a better manner. By not pardoning everyone else, and singling out Turing, the state - and the society as a whole to some extent - engages in a a grubby, partisan deed and shows no contrition for the victimising activities.

I'd expect nothing less from the bunch of self-interested, unprincipled politicians who we have in parliament these days, though.

Re:Screw them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336469)

Honestly, the entire concept of being Pardoned in this case would be yet another insult.

What they should issue is an Apology.

Re:Screw them (4, Insightful)

Mouldy (1322581) | about 9 months ago | (#44336501)

Honestly, the entire concept of being Pardoned in this case would be yet another insult.

What they should issue is an Apology.

Mod parent up. Pardon implies that the action was wrong, but excusable. An apology would imply that Turing (+others) did nothing wrong and that it was in fact the law that was wrong.

This isn't about Turing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336671)

Geeks are the ones explaining in detail what GCHQ has been recording on Brits. Geeks are the ones who thought Turing was given a bad deal. So this is a fob to pretend that Cameron is somehow the friend of geeks, even as he's destroying the privacy right and making 'democracy' a joke word.

Seriously, fuck off Cameron, you were elected to fix the surveillance state, no token honor to Turing will fix what you've done Cameron, *no*, what you're *doing* Cameron. It's on-going. We get it, we voted for your to end the surveillance state and you let the policy decided by New Labour lead you. You are not a leader sir, you are an embarrassment.

Fuck off and resign. Turing would be ashamed to see how computers have been turned against the voters. Do you think he made a machine that could be used to persecute him? No.

Re:Screw them (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336715)

Chill out, they already issued an apology [bbc.co.uk] a few years ago.

Re:Screw them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336839)

No. Pardon implies the action was illegal, but excusable. And the action was illegal. Whether you like the law or not, he was actually "guilty" of it, even if the law was poorly and unevenly applied.

What really needs to be understood is that being convicted doesn't make you evil. The law exists to preserve the existing order. And many times, the existing order is deficient, but must serve to maintain society until it can be changed.

Re:Screw them (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337013)

Oh shut up you worthless fuck. If you're not intellectually grown up enough to realize that law isn't what defines morals, you have nothing to say that is interesting to this discussion.

Re:Screw them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337045)

I don't see where the GP said that the law == morality. Especially the part where he said, "being convicted doesn't make you evil".

Sounds like someone got up on the grumpy side today.

Re:Screw them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337071)

We should get away from this whole "it was the law then so it's okay". The law was broken, had no excuse to ever exist in the first place, and people convicted of it deserves an erase of their criminal record as well as an official apology from the highest instance of government (which I believe they might have already did). Not a pardon which says his actions were wrong - his actions WERE NOT WRONG.

Re:Screw them (3, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | about 9 months ago | (#44337337)

The term "pardon" should stick in everyone's craw. The term belongs to another age, when royalty dare not admit that wrongs were committed. Did Alan Turing ever commit any act for which he should have said "I beg your pardon" to society? I think not. I know that pardons are granted for wrongful convictions as well as when the recipient is considered to have fulfilled their debt to society. I also know that in the UK a pardon implies moral innocence. Maybe it's silly of me to be hung up on the word itself, but I am. There ought to be a better term for nullification of convictions arising from laws which have been found to be unjust, immoral and evil, and the title of the nullification ought to make it clear that it isn't forgiveness, because the victim in these cases has done nothing which needs to be forgiven.

Think about it. Escaped slaves who were caught in the past: do we now really want to retrospectively say in magnanimity that we forgive them for escaping? If I were so descended, I would symbolically spit in the face of one so declaring in those terms.

Re:Screw them (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | about 9 months ago | (#44336541)

I agree. Besides, what is the point of pardoning someone who's already dead? To be frank, even an apology is short of the mark. There is nothing they can do at this time apart from what has already been done, making this a rather futile exercise.

Re: Screw them (5, Insightful)

Ricwot (632038) | about 9 months ago | (#44336635)

They might want to pardon those still living with criminal records for this.

There are rather a few.

Re:Screw them (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336591)

Before you carry on with this tirade: a former prime minister already did this.

Google "Gordon Brown Alan Turing Apology"

Re: Screw them (0, Troll)

ted leaf (2960563) | about 9 months ago | (#44336753)

no, they should leave the situation as it is. turin was convicted of commiting an act of gross indecency in a public place, not for being gay, people are still charged for indecency, turin knew the law of the land, and decided to break it, and was found guilty. there is no good reason for a pardon. turin may have been smart, but he was only one cog in a macine, he did'nt cure death, or walk on water. next thing will be sainthood!!!

Re:Screw them (2)

pla (258480) | about 9 months ago | (#44336771)

Honestly, the entire concept of being Pardoned in this case would be yet another insult.

Agreed. In this situation, Turing doesn't need the pardon, the UK Government needs it for their crimes against humanity.

Re:Screw them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337091)

Bullshit. If you had grown up in those times you'd have put down the paper, shaken your head and wondered what was coming of this world with all these poofs in it.

Re:Screw them (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 9 months ago | (#44337263)

Agreed. In this situation, Turing doesn't need the pardon, the UK Government needs it for their crimes against humanity.

There isn't a country on the planet who hasn't, at some point in the past, committed acts that are now considered human rights violations and/or crimes against humanity. Not a one. Some of the so-called "western ideal" liberal/democracies were still committing these crimes against humanity while, at the same time, their heads of state were receiving Nobel prizes for forwarding human rights. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Canada, and more recently, the USA)

Absolving the past isn't what's important, nor is it a good idea. Acknowledging that wrongs were done and moving forward with that knowledge is the best that can be hoped for, and that's something that they're trying to do in the UK.

Re:Screw them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336779)

Honestly, the entire concept of being Pardoned in this case would be yet another insult.

What they should issue is an Apology.

Calm down. The Prime Minister has already done so. Pay more attention to the news if you genuinely care about this subject.

Re:Screw them (1)

milkmage (795746) | about 9 months ago | (#44336825)

they did.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/11/pm-apology-to-alan-turing [guardian.co.uk]

Gordon Brown issued an unequivocal apology last night on behalf of the government to Alan Turing, the second world war codebreaker who took his own life 55 years ago after being sentenced to chemical castration for being gay.

Describing Turing's treatment as "horrifying" and "utterly unfair", Brown said the country owed the brilliant mathematician a huge debt. He was proud, he said, to offer an official apology. "We're sorry, you deserved so much better," Brown writes in a statement posted on the No 10 website.

Re:Screw them (4, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 9 months ago | (#44336625)

In the UK, it's all about "who you know". Anthony Blunt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Blunt) was openly gay around the same time as Alan Turing. And he spied for Russia.

But because he was the " Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures", nothing ever happened to him.

One rule of law for the elite, another for the commoners.

Re:Screw them (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 9 months ago | (#44336987)

But The fact that Anthony Blunt had friends in high places was not a military secret. To reprieve Turing would be to acknowledge the fact that Turing's work was instrumental during the war, and the Sovets should really change those locks...

Re:Screw them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337025)

> One rule of law for the elite, another for the commoners.

privilege /priv()lij/
Noun
A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to one person or group of people.

Private law.

BSA Lifting Ban on Gay Scouts, but not Leaders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336461)

The Boy Scouts of America has lifted the ban on gay scouts starting next year, but not the ban on leaders.

Just curious, most boys join scouts in first grade. and most of them think that girls have cooties, so how can you tell if a 6 year old is gay?

Re:BSA Lifting Ban on Gay Scouts, but not Leaders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336517)

That's Cub Scouts; Boy Scouts starts in middle school if I remember correctly.

Re:BSA Lifting Ban on Gay Scouts, but not Leaders (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#44336905)

how can you tell if a 6 year old is gay?

Ask his mother...?

Moms know.

Re:BSA Lifting Ban on Gay Scouts, but not Leaders (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44337169)

Duh, it's because they like Barbie dolls and dressing sharply.

Because males who like other males want to spend all their time looking at naked plastic women.

Re:BSA Lifting Ban on Gay Scouts, but not Leaders (4, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 9 months ago | (#44337275)

Moms know.

Sometimes they do, sometimes they blissfully put up blinders and pretend that nothing's happening. When I told my mom I was a lesbian, her first words were "no you aren't", and it was 5 years and many girlfriends later that she finally acknowledged that I might be queer. To this day, she still hopes I'm going to find some guy and start popping out grandkids.

That should make everything better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336463)

I know some people want the pardon for him, but I think it makes a bigger statement to leave it. Why let them clear their conscious now? It doesn't help him any.

Re:That should make everything better (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336527)

Why let them clear their conscious now?

Them?, the people and society responsible for his conviction are long gone (admittedly with ageing straggling remnants in places) so if any of the current batch of politicos are countenancing this action, it has bugger all to do with conscience (as it wasn't on their watch he was convicted and hounded) and has more to do with both appearing to be politically sensitive/correct (Read: spin) and, as a fringe benefit, a desperate attempt to try win a percentage of the 'Gay' vote.

It doesn't help him any.

Indeed, in a lot of respects, it's better for the conviction to stand as a bloody reminder of how intolerant we were once.

Re:That should make everything better (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44337187)

Indeed, in a lot of respects, it's better for the conviction to stand as a bloody reminder of how intolerant we are.

FTFY

Don't think that because some gay people get to have the joy of marriage and subsequent divorce that we are now post-intolerance.

Pardoning a dead person of a no longer illegal act when everyone is in favor of it is more like moral masturbation. I guess it has to be done or someone might blow their top, but you didn't actually get anywhere with anyone else.

floodgates? (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#44336519)

The government argues that they can't pardon everyone because it would open the floodgates for anyone convicted of any crime subsequently legalized to ask for the same. To my mind that's a lame excuse for not pardoning every gay man convicted of this one specific crime.

Re:floodgates? (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#44336587)

There is no reason to pardon him. Apologize for making a bad law sure, but pardon no. It was illegal at the time, and there were no exigent circumstances requiring him to break the law for the public good. There is really no reason to offer a pardon.

The pardon is necessary (1)

localroger (258128) | about 9 months ago | (#44336645)

...to clear Turing of having an official criminal record. The law and the criminal justice system regard you as a criminal if you break a law, whether that was a "good" law or a "bad" law. Essentially, under the legal system, there can't be any such thing as a law that's invalid because it's bad; that would undermine the whole idea of what law is. So what the pardon does is erase Turing's record of being a criminal lawbreaker without making any statement about the validity of the law he broke. That is something that can be done without undermining the very idea of law itself.

Re:The pardon is necessary (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44337215)

Some people wear their criminal records with pride. If I was Nelson Mandela and someone wanted to take my imprisonment off my record, I'd tell them to bug off because I spent decades earning that record.

Some people are dead and their criminal records don't matter to them any more. Turing probably would have cared at the time it happened because it would have meant something for someone to stand up for him. Now?

I guess if they needed a pardon so he could have a statue or something put up, it would necessary, but I doing something like that is pretty much the equivalent to the resolution congratulating the winners of the National Spelling Bee. Form over function. Checking off the boxes to because you have to do certain obvious things to maintain your constituencies.

Re:floodgates? (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 9 months ago | (#44336737)

Why permit such revisionist history at all? If you're going to pretend he was not a criminal, then you must also pretend the government didn't convict him. Are we going to pretend the US never had slavery if Congress passes a law to posthumously free all slaves back to 1776? It's absurd. That Alan Turing was convicted of the crime of homosexuality is a historic fact and his "crimes" only reflect badly on the UK government, not on the man himself.

Re:floodgates? (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#44336815)

Revisionism is about placing political correctness above reality. A pardon would be a political statement, not a legal opinion, and would merely add insult to injury.

Re:floodgates? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 9 months ago | (#44336745)

This. But I really can't see any argument for making an apology either. Nobody currently occupying office is responsible for the law or Turing's prosecution, and thus has nothing to apologize for.
 
Dig up some old fossil who actually bears responsibility for either, or give it a rest.

Re:floodgates? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#44336819)

He broke the law because it was his biological nature. Normal human beings can't help being somewhat sexual and everyone has the right to pursue happiness and intimate relations.

He broke the law but modern science and psychology says he had a legitimate excuse.

Re:floodgates? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336997)

Desire is not action, or when I was 15 and hormone filled I would have been allowed to rape you, your mother, your dog, and the coke bottle you were in the midst of drinking from with impunity.

Being 15 was very very hard for me, in so many ways......

Re:floodgates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337067)

The coke bottle is still available, if you are interested.

Re:floodgates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336597)

Well, for argument's sake, what are the negatives of retroactively pardoning people for crimes that are subsequently legalized?

Re:floodgates? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 9 months ago | (#44337227)

Well, for argument's sake, what are the negatives of retroactively pardoning people for crimes that are subsequently legalized?

Becoming self-satisfied about your moral superiority.

Re:floodgates? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#44336619)

And the problem with pardoning anyone convicted of a crime that was later legalized is...?

"Our shameful forebears, through a combination of ignorance and memetic control mechanisms, had wrongly made this illegal."

Didja ever wonder what people 100 years from now will look back on our "modern, self-satisfied" worldview and laugh or shake their heads with embarrassment?

Re:floodgates? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#44336641)

There are other things that need our attention right now. Though having politicians spend their time on meaningless fluff rather than passing more shitty laws is probably a good thing, in general this kind of thing is just used to run interference for meaningful stuff that is going on that they don't want you to pay attention to.

Re:floodgates? (1)

Livius (318358) | about 9 months ago | (#44336829)

As long as it's okay if someday there's a law that says there's a new time limit on issuing pardons, say, ten years, and all those convictions are then summarily reinstated. The alternative is that justice could never be final.

Re:floodgates? (2)

anne on E. mouse cow (867445) | about 9 months ago | (#44336747)

because it would open the floodgates for anyone convicted of any crime subsequently legalized to ask for the same.

??? no excuse, open those floodgates, if something was legalised then the govt f**ked up in the first place by making said thing illegal.

Sexual liberation is a dead-end (-1, Flamebait)

hessian (467078) | about 9 months ago | (#44336573)

Society was happier when people were focused on family and behaved in a (relatively) chaste manner.

Part of maintaining that structure requires a clear sexual values system, including a sense of what is normal.

When we go pluralistic, or make "anything goes" the new normal, this traditional order is threatened.

While I will never support the persecution of someone for being quietly gay, I think a lot of the excesses of that time were designed to counter-act the rising sexual liberation movement.

Re:Sexual liberation is a dead-end (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#44336651)

Society was better when "The state is mother, the state is father" were just words on a page.

I agree (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336683)

Society was happier when people were focused on family and behaved in a (relatively) chaste manner.

You don't say.

Part of maintaining that structure requires a clear sexual values system, including a sense of what is normal.

Interesting.

When we go pluralistic, or make "anything goes" the new normal, this traditional order is threatened.

Traditional - status quo? The people in control stay in control - like the man rules the house, women should know their place?

While I will never support the persecution of someone for being quietly gay, I think a lot of the excesses of that time were designed to counter-act the rising sexual liberation movement.

Could be.

As for me, I keep my mouth shut and act like a "good" Christian - even though I'm Atheist and having nothing against gays. And then I use others stupidity and bigotry to manipulate them and enrich myself - and also help those folks out behind the scenes when they need it. In other words, while I'm bigoted Christian to your face, I'm stabbing you in the back - and enjoying it.

I then spend time with open mined smart people when I get sick and tired of the ignorant, bigots, and Bible thumpers. I'm not doing anything new - that's the way it has been throughout history. The people in power use the average Joe's ignorance and stupidity for gain because arguing and "fighting for right" is an uphill battle and a waste time.

People very rarely change their minds and values and it's quicker and easier to just fuck'em.

Re:I agree (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 9 months ago | (#44336755)

I then spend time with open mined smart people when I get sick and tired of the ignorant, bigots, and Bible thumpers.

I am horrified at your embrace of environmentally unsound mineral extraction practices.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336763)

Ah, well, you seem so confident in your powers of manipulation and subtleness, I fear you'll learn the world the hard way. Yours is an old and really sad story.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336761)

I don't endorse his post, but what he wrote is interesting and worth discussion.

Re:Sexual liberation is a dead-end (4, Insightful)

RedBear (207369) | about 9 months ago | (#44336783)

Society was happier when people were focused on family and behaved in a (relatively) chaste manner.

Part of maintaining that structure requires a clear sexual values system, including a sense of what is normal.

When we go pluralistic, or make "anything goes" the new normal, this traditional order is threatened.

While I will never support the persecution of someone for being quietly gay, I think a lot of the excesses of that time were designed to counter-act the rising sexual liberation movement.

You suffer from the terrible misapprehension that there is such thing as "normal" when it comes to human sexuality, and that people have ever done anything more than pretend to conform to your mythical "chaste" behaviors. All of recorded history shows us that A) human sexuality is a spectrum that has always included things like homosexuality and B) humans are really not very good at being "chaste".

Also, last time I checked there were an awful lot of people inhabiting those "happier" time periods you refer to who were not happy at all. Quite the opposite in fact, since they were busy being persecuted for what they felt was perfectly normal.

It certainly sounds very much like you do support the persecution of anyone who doesn't fit your personal definition of "normal" or threatens your idea of harmonious social order.

More on topic: This whole thing with pardoning just Alan Turing because he happened to be a genius and helped to win a war makes me want to puke. If the law and the resulting persecution was wrong they should be apologizing and pardoning every single person who was ever prosecuted under that law. Not just Turing. What, those 49,000 others aren't good enough for a pardon? They weren't genius enough to earn an apology for being persecuted? Give me a break. If it was wrong, it was wrong. Otherwise it's just favoritism.

Re:Sexual liberation is a dead-end (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336917)

Boy, do you all have a small picture view ..

Okay men! This is clear. You may be the greatest mind in the world, and work day and night to advance science, literature, education, etc.

But if you are a man, you will be treated like one. No consoling, no consideration at all. At the time, not wearing a tie could get you fired.. so being gay!

Get this through your heads all. If you are doing anything, anything at all you do not fully enjoy and would not do on your free time, then don't do it for society, your wife, or your kids. I mean this. Your value must be first as a person, and then 2nd as a provider. Until then, and the misandy laws are changed throughout society, do absolutely nothing for anyone but your self and your kids, and your wife - if she is supportive.

AVoiceforMen.com is a good place to look to start to learn about how sociaty fucks you over, takes everything, and if you happen to live (with 20X death rate on job, many men don't.) If you don't start treating yourself well. Find a positive self identity not dependent on society or women or anyone else. The self identity that doesn't include the native spin all the women groups want you to believe, and constantly remind you over and over - don't rape, don't abuse, don't kill today. And ignoring the reciprocal problems for females.. women do rape, women do steal, women do abuse, women do most everything bad and nearly as often, or more often when looking at real domestic violence stats.

Think about this, especially if you have a son. I was a large 12 year old and was confronted numerous times by pycho fems who wanted to give me shit for some crap some guy did to them. This is the mentality you deal with daily, except most women get better at hiding it. This is an extreme, but every sweetie you kiss seems to have this entitled privileged immature princess who feels entitled to everything she wants, and you are just a tool she uses.

If looking for a good female mate I suggest you look to a women who was raised by her father only after some age, 5 or 6 when important crittical thinking and empathy are developing. She will likely see you and treat you as another human person. Good luck!

Pretty shitty. So before you get emasculated completely by society and women I suggest you get some perspective.

Don't forget .. there are never any false rape charges. Ever! And women never lie or are caught with thier pants down. But that's okay, his fault for waiting sex. Another ruined (2) lives.. I say 2 because that women will never, never, never be able to correct her mistake and because she is not charged no one sees this to learn from it. Lets see some parity in jail time and socially destroying consequences.. because the man with the rape charge, even if withdrawn, may never work again. And other tragedies, while her name is kept hidden.

So, my suggestion. Find a life you can enjoy without being the tool. It doesn't have to be lonely, there are plenty of men, and the unusual women (likely older) who to be close friends with.. but there are few, so please be willing to share her time with others. She is too valuable - well worth her weight in gold thousands of times over. Imagine ladies if you could be one of these women! The very thought that there could be two where I've seen one! The concept that I could find a women immune to the simpler life. And possibly real love might be possible.

Re:Sexual liberation is a dead-end (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337319)

It's an MRA! Everyone point and laugh at his persecution complex!

Pardon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336577)

It's disputed whether Turing really poisoned himself consciously, but they did fuck up his life. He shouldn't be pardoned but rehabilitated. He deserves a full apology, not an act of grace.

They already issued an official apology (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#44336581)

... A year or two ago.

These post humorous pardons, and official decision changes, are stupid.
Last year The government officially voted to not send Japanese citizens to the internment camps during WWII.

Text of the pardon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336647)

Rather than assign the duty to a professional writer and then have the results reviewed by MPs, maybe they should hold a two-part contest for computer programs: one to draft the pardon, the other to select the most appropriate draft.

Just wait... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#44336655)

Next year the US can retroactively free all the slaves and claim that therefore there was never a slavery problem.

Re:Just wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44337023)

The first part of your sentence doesn't have to imply the second, jackass.

Several enigma machines (4, Insightful)

eric31415927 (861917) | about 9 months ago | (#44336677)

Many people think Turing cracked Enigma, but this is only partially true.

The Poles were the first to crack Enigma. Turing's lot later cracked naval Enigma. It took the capture of a downed U-boat to crack an updated naval Enigma.

Re:Several enigma machines (4, Insightful)

oggiejnr (999258) | about 9 months ago | (#44336919)

What you have stated is not the entire truth either. The Poles cracked Enigma by relying on a protocol weakness (the Germans sent the initial rotor setting twice). Even before cracking the naval Enigma, Turing et al devised a way to break Enigma should the Germans realise they had a vulnerability by using a known plaintext attack. The Germans changing the protocol to only send the initial rotor setting once rendered the Polish cryptanalysis unusable. They also developed the machinery needed to automate the cracking of Enigma on a far larger scale than the Poles had managed.

And now for the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336725)

All those ministers went to Eton they were all Fags

Crime: Not a women (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336729)

Okay men! This is clear. You may be the greatest mind in the world, and work day and night to advance science, literature, education, etc.

But if you are a man, you will be treated like one. No consoling, no consideration at all. At the time, not wearing a tie could get you fired.. so being gay!

Get this through your heads all. If you are doing anything, anything at all you do not fully enjoy and would not do on your free time, then don't do it for society, your wife, or your kids. I mean this. Your value must be first as a person, and then 2nd as a provider. Until then, and the misandy laws are changed throughout society, do absolutely nothing for anyone but your self and your kids, and your wife - if she is supportive.

AVoiceforMen.com is a good place to look to start to learn about how sociaty fucks you over, takes everything, and if you happen to live (with 20X death rate on job, many men don't.) If you don't start treating yourself well. Find a positive self identity not dependent on society or women or anyone else. The self identity that doesn't include the native spin all the women groups want you to believe, and constantly remind you over and over - don't rape, don't abuse, don't kill today. And ignoring the reciprocal problems for females.. women do rape, women do steal, women do abuse, women do most everything bad and nearly as often, or more often when looking at real domestic violence stats.

Think about this, especially if you have a son. I was a large 12 year old and was confronted numerous times by pycho fems who wanted to give me shit for some crap some guy did to them. This is the mentality you deal with daily, except most women get better at hiding it. This is an extreme, but every sweetie you kiss seems to have this entitled privileged immature princess who feels entitled to everything she wants, and you are just a tool she uses.

If looking for a good female mate I suggest you look to a women who was raised by her father only after some age, 5 or 6 when important crittical thinking and empathy are developing. She will likely see you and treat you as another human person. Good luck!

Pretty shitty. So before you get emasculated completely by society and women I suggest you get some perspective.

Don't forget .. there are never any false rape charges. Ever! And women never lie or are caught with thier pants down. But that's okay, his fault for waiting sex. Another ruined (2) lives.. I say 2 because that women will never, never, never be able to correct her mistake and because she is not charged no one sees this to learn from it. Lets see some parity in jail time and socially destroying consequences.. because the man with the rape charge, even if withdrawn, may never work again. And other tragedies, while her name is kept hidden.

So, my suggestion. Find a life you can enjoy without being the tool. It doesn't have to be lonely, there are plenty of men, and the unusual women (likely older) who to be close friends with.. but there are few, so please be willing to share her time with others. She is too valuable - well worth her weight in gold thousands of times over. Imagine ladies if you could be one of these women! The very thought that there could be two where I've seen one! The concept that I could find a women immune to the simpler life. And possibly real love might be possible.

Why bother? (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 9 months ago | (#44336739)

I think it's meaningless and a waste of time. The people in charge today didn't commit the offense, and if you want to address past offenses in UK history, a more important place to start would be at Smithfield [wikipedia.org] anyway. I am more in favor of finding people whose rights are being violated today and doing something about that.

Re:Why bother? (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 9 months ago | (#44336777)

I think it's meaningless and a waste of time. The people in charge today didn't commit the offense, and if you want to address past offenses in UK history, a more important place to start would be at Smithfield [wikipedia.org] anyway. I am more in favor of finding people whose rights are being violated today and doing something about that.

It is not meaningless. There are people in Britain and worldwide who still want to roll back the clock on gay rights. This move would signal that there is no going back by appropriately acknowledging the collective shame that Britain bears for treating their hero so poorly. It is 2013. Gay oppression is, or ought to be, a thing of the past.

So he gets to return to life I guess? (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 9 months ago | (#44336767)

... because his suicide was a direct result of his prosecution and punishment. So unless they can return Alan Turing to life this pardon doesn't mean shit.

Just pandering (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 9 months ago | (#44336833)

So unless they can return Alan Turing to life this pardon doesn't mean shit.

What is means is that the people in power are pandering to those currently living in the hopes of getting future votes.

waste (1)

Titus Groan (2834723) | about 9 months ago | (#44336797)

this is just a waste of parliamentary time, time that should be spent solving current problems and dealing with extant matters. The crown can pardon Turing and all others convicted of this crime - and they can do so without wasting the time of the legislature. They could, for example, debate how "austerity" is based on bad maths and the current spending cuts are actually worsening the situation and putting more and more people beyond the ability to feed themselves, but no, they waste time on this.

yet 65 years later people are still persecuted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336883)

Imagine if today there would be a British math genius, secretly breaking AES and giving UK insane advantage in relations with other countries. Yet this genius likes to fuck little boys - a most heinous crime today. Investigation of his sexual life eventually bring charges and he's sentenced to chemical castration and infamy, with many years in prison.

50 years later UK goverment gives him posthumously pardon, due to his genius and because he helped establish UK supremacy.

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44336907)

Exterminate the family line of everyone responsible to deter future idiots.

Problem solved.

Why change history (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 9 months ago | (#44336929)

This might be an unpopular sentiment, but why.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for sexual equality, and have nothing against gay people. But why go through and change history. At the time, it was considered illegal, and the world was a much more conservative place. Pardoning him posthumously does nothing for him, and only makes the current generation of politicians and people feel good and they did something, which in reality has no real meaning.

It is like South Africa, where I grew up. Today, they are changing all the street names, removing all the monuments of the past, removing historical references all over the place. Just because you hide your past, does not change your history.....

So they are finally realizing.... (0)

3seas (184403) | about 9 months ago | (#44336979)

Being gay is a better solution to population control than messy war.

Okay... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 9 months ago | (#44337173)

support a bill that would issue a posthumous pardon to Alan Turing ... was charged with and convicted of "gross indecency" in 1952 for being gay.

The announcement marks a change of heart by the government, which declined last year to grant pardons to the 49,000 gay men, now dead, who were convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act.

One down, 48,999 pardons to go.

Did you know? (1)

Pooya_M (2440648) | about 9 months ago | (#44337201)

Sure of suicide? : Professor Jack Copeland (philosophy) has questioned various aspects of the coroner's historical verdict, suggesting the alternative explanation of the accidental inhalation of cyanide fumes from an apparatus for gold electroplating spoons, using potassium cyanide to dissolve the gold, which Turing had set up in his tiny spare room. Copeland notes that the autopsy findings were more consistent with inhalation than with ingestion of the poison. Turing also habitually ate an apple before bed, and it was not unusual for it to be discarded half-eaten.[103] In addition, Turing had reportedly borne his legal setbacks and hormone treatment (which had been discontinued a year previously) "with good humour" and had shown no sign of despondency prior to his death, in fact, setting down a list of tasks he intended to complete upon return to his office after the holiday weekend.[103] At the time, Turing's mother believed that the ingestion was accidental, caused by her son's careless storage of laboratory chemicals From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing [wikipedia.org]
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