SNP MP to push ahead with ‘Turing law’
An SNP MP is to move ahead with a bill that would see gay men who were convicted when homosexuality was a criminal offence pardoned.
John Nicolson’s private members’ bill, to bring about an “Alan Turing law”, will have its second reading in the House of Commons in October.
If enacted, the law would see convictions set aside for sexual offences that have been abolished.
Alan Turing was one of the fathers of modern computer science and artificial intelligence and was instrumental in breaking the German ciphers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.
In his 2009 pardon, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of the Second World War could have been very different.
“He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely.”
In 1952 Mr Turing, then 39, was convicted of gross indecency under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 after his relationship with Arnold Murray, 19, was discovered. He was made to undergo hormone treatment, which rendered him impotent.
He was found dead on 8 June 1954. An inquest determined he had committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple.