Alan Turing was once a hero in England.
Then, in 1952, Turing was outed, leading to a very public trial, conviction and chemically castrated for “gross indecency.” He killed himself two years later.
Now, 60 years on, the British government is honoring Turing by including him in a series of twelve new “Britons of Distinction” stamps set to be released next month.
George Broadhead, secretary of the Humanist group the Pink Triangle Trust, celebrated Turing’s inclusion in a press release. “This is richly deserved,” he wrote. “It is well known that Turing was gay, but perhaps not so well known that he was a staunch atheist. There are many other famous gay atheists past and present — Christopher Marlowe, Maynard Keynes, Stephen Fry and and Michael Cashman among them — but Turing is probably the most notable since his breaking of the Enigma Code went such a long way in saving the UK from defeat in the last war.”
Though Turing’s picture is not featured on the new stamp – one of his eponymous machines is, instead – the news is just the latest step in a decades-long effort to redeem Turing’s image. Perhaps the biggest development came in 2009, when then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology for Turing’s treatment.
“While Mr Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him,” Brown said at the time. “Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was convicted, under homophobic laws, were treated terribly.
A new petition is now asking that the government to offer an official posthumous pardon for Turing. One of Turing’s supporters, programmer John Graham-Cumming, actually opposes this petition, because it still assumes other gay men convicted under since-scrapped laws were guilty of something wrong.
“You either pardon all the gay men convicted (including, most importantly, those that are still living with criminal convictions) or you do nothing,” he contended last month.
GREAT MAN. LOVE HIS WRY SMILE ABOVE. HE WAS LIKE THE STEVE JOBS OF HIS DAY. EXCEPT HE WAS A GENIUS AND COULD ACTUALLY CREATE.
CHARMLESS – Slain Portuguese Gay Author Carlos Castro’s Ashes Dumped Down Times Square Subway Grate.
He wanted his ashes ‘spread at Times Square’. Not poured into the sewer. Cunt family…..
Family and friends of slain Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro honored the dead man’s wishes yesterday by pouring his ashes down a subway grate in Times Square.
A funeral was held in Newark yesterday for Castro, 65, who was allegedly castrated with a corkscrew by his 20-year-old lover, male model Renato Seabra, on Jan. 7 in a room at the InterContinental Hotel in Times Square.
After the service, his sisters and a friend took a limo to Broadway and 43rd Street and quickly dumped his ashes without saying a word, said photographer Leandro Badalotti.
Fernanda Castro and Maria Amelia Castro kneeled down and poured the ashes of their brother, Carlos Castro, into the grate at W. 44th St. and Broadway as onlookers walked by. Some of the ashes scattered into the wind at ‘The Crossroads of the World.’ …Friends said the family got permission from the city to leave Castro’s ashes in Times Square. Castro wrote about his desire to have them spread there in his biography.’”
Prominent gay rights activist and journalist Carlos De Castro was found brutally murdered in his New York City hotel room on Friday. According to reports, police have the 65-year-old’s younger lover in custody. 20-year-old Renato Seabra, a male model from Portugal, is currently being held at Bellevue Hospital Center.
The New York Times gives a run down on the discovery of the crime scene:
“On Friday, a friend of Mr. De Castro’s from New Jersey grew concerned and went to the hotel, near 44th Street and Eighth Avenue, to check on him. Members of the hotel’s security staff found Mr. De Castro’s body. ‘There’s some type of sexual mutilation,’ the official said. ‘The place was a mess.’ Detectives seized a laptop from the room.”
“Mr. De Castro’s friend told the police that she had seen Mr. Seabra in the lobby on Friday and that she had last spoken to Mr. De Castro about 12:30 p.m. that day. Investigators distributed a wanted poster, describing Mr. Seabra as a person of interest.”
Disturbingly, it is being reported that Castro had not only been bludgeoned to death but that his scrotum had also been cut off.