In 1952, World War II code-breaking hero and the father of computing Alan Turing was convicted of that most heinous of crimes, being born a homosexual.
Following Turing's prosecution he was further humiliated by having his security privileges withdrawn and by being chemically castrated, then an experimental "treatment", for his non-existent illness. Turing committed suicide in 1954.
There is an online petition to the Prime Minister calling for an apology to Turing and a posthumous pardon. There are currently 30,327 signatories, including myself. The petition reads:
"Alan Turing was the greatest computer scientist ever born in Britain. He laid the foundations of computing, helped break the Nazi Enigma code and told us how to tell whether a machine could think.Please take a moment to go and sign the petition and reflect on Turing's impact on our modern world. That man should have had a knighthood at least, not persecution.
He was also gay. He was prosecuted for being gay, chemically castrated as a 'cure', and took his own life, aged 41.
The British Government should apologize to Alan Turing for his treatment and recognize that his work created much of the world we live in and saved us from Nazi Germany. And an apology would recognize the tragic consequences of prejudice that ended this man's life and career".