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Thousands of gay and bisexual men in the United Kingdom who were convicted of crimes under sexual offence laws which have now been abolished will be eligible to be pardoned thanks to the so-called Alan Turing Law.
It took over 60 years for the British Government to pardon World War Two codebreaker Turing, who was charged in 1952 with gross indecency for having a sexual relationship with another man.
"In total there are about 65,000 men convicted under these now repealed anti-gay laws and 15,000 are still alive, the others are dead," he said.
He said those who were convicted under the laws have suffered in many ways. "
[Their] reputation suffered, their families suffered, they suffered directly in employment terms," Lord Sharkey said.
Alan Turing is often called the father of modern computing. He was a brilliant mathematician and logician. He developed the idea of the modern computer and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War he worked for the government breaking the enemies codes and Churchill said he shortened the war by two years.
Of course, Turing’s case is well known – his conviction, sentencing and chemical castration for homosexual offences led to his suspected suicide in 1954 and has been the subject of considerable controversy ever since.