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A man named Alan Turning

By Saturday 12 September 2009Gay, History, Political, Thinking

There was once a man named Alan Turning. He is now seen as a hero for helping to break German Enigma code in World War two. However this wasn’t always the case.

As a gay man living in these times he was convicted of homosexuality in the heterosexual world he lived in. He had a choice to under go chemical castration or go to prison. He choose to under go the chemical castration and later committed suicide.

Looking back now he is seen as a brilliant and intelligent man. Think what he could have achieved in his life, if he hadn’t cut it short as a result of British law at the time.

Gordon Brown according to Pink News apologised for his treatment after a petition signed by over thirty thousand people. There has been some debate on Gordon Brown’s apology amongst the gay community. Peter Tatchell said to Pink News:

Peter Tatchell called the apology “welcome and commendable” but said an apology was also due to the estimated 100,000 British men convicted of similar offences.

He said: “Singling out Turing just because he is famous is wrong. Unlike Turing, many thousands of ordinary gay and bisexual men were never given the option of hormone treatment. They were sent to prison.

“All these men were criminalised for behaviour that was not a crime between heterosexual men and women.”
(Pink News, last accessed: 12th September 09)

However Zefrog said:

And this brings the next question, that of the worth of an apology. This is not a new debate. It is a particularly heated one, for example, in the black community around the issue of slavery, where it is complicated by the question of financial reparations.

An apology is, of course, a potent symbol…
(Zefrog, Last accessed: 12th September 09)

My opinion is that Gordon Brown could of better used his time and political influence to change the laws against homosexuality that still exist in the world. There are still places in the world were gay men (and sometimes lesbian women) are hung, shot or killed in some other way because of their sexuality. Because they have relationships and or sex with the same sex. You only need to look this world map below (provided by Wikipedia) to see how far spread homophobia still is in terms of governments laws against it.

(Click on the map for full size readable version)

Blog politically again soon,

Antony x

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  • Mike says:

    A branch of my family has a house in North Cyrpus. They invited me there for Christmas, but I tactfully decined. I didn’t have the heart to tell them being a gayer carries a life tariff on the island. A friend of mine suggested that I ‘just pretend to be straight’ when I visit, which I thought rather missed the point. And your posts about the blood transfusion service show problems strill exist closer to home however, I think it is a positive step forward to recognise stigmatising someone for their sexuality (or anything else) utimately harms society.

  • Antony says:

    I know what you mean. There are places around the world I would love to visit, but won’t go if I can’t be myself or risking potentially having my life ended or life inprisionment because of my sexuality. I wouldn’t give any of those countries my money.

    It does harm the society, but I feel Gordon Brown still could have at least made some comment about these other countries – even if he choose not to challenge their homosexuality laws to raise awareness, at the least.


    A x

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