Alan Turing

Alan Turing

The British gay mathematics genius who helped changed the course of World War II has finally received a pardon for his homosexuality conviction.

Alan Turing is considered by many to be the father of modern computing. He also played a key role in breaking the Nazi Enigma code during the war, which shorted it by two years and saved thousands of lives.

He was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexuality and was given the choice of imprisonment or chemical castration.

Turing chose the latter and underwent forced oestrogen hormone injection treatment for a year before committing suicide from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41.

In September 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a formal posthumous apology to Turing for his prosecution but the war hero’s conviction remained standing.

This week, Turing was granted a posthumous royal pardon by the Queen, almost 60 years after his tragic suicide. The pardon followed a request from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

Said Grayling: “Dr Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind. His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed.

“Dr Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man,” said¬†Grayling.

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