Saturday, January 5, 2013

Alan Turing's Gay Pardon

I read yesterday that a bunch of famous people, like Steven Hawking and Other Leading Scientists Who Didn't Write A Brief History Of Time, are petitioning to have Alan Turing posthumously pardoned for being gay.

In case you didn't know, Alan Turing was a totally rad dude who worked for the government in the Department of Awesomeness where he Invented The Future while winning all of the wars or something.  Except he was gay, and back then it was a crime to be gay, so he was arrested and chemically castrated and fired because he might have been a KGB spy to tempt Amurka's government with gayness, and then he killed himself because his life was royally fucked.  That's the short, no-research history I gave you right there.  I can probably give you a better description of who he is, why he's such an important figure, and what happened to him when it's not...holy shit, six forty-five in the morning, I should go to bed.  Whatever, I'll finish this first.  Don't let my terrible late-night-explaining skills fool you into thinking he wasn't actually a huge deal, because he was super-important and what happened to him was a vile tragedy.

Anyway, some people want Alan Turing posthumously pardoned, because it's wrong to ruin someone's career and life just because of their sexuality, duh.  Apparently there's some sort of rule saying that a person can't be pardoned if the thing they want to be pardoned for was actually a crime when they were convicted of it, despite it being a terrible, stupid, disgusting law that pretty much everybody now agrees was so awful and inappropriate that it should never have existed.

I don't have a real problem with people who want to posthumously pardon the guy.  I see where they're coming from.  Alan Turing was a hero, and the way he was treated was despicable, and now we want to try and make things a little bit right, even if we are fifty years too late.

I do have a problem with how this pardoning petition comes across, though.  Why just Turing?  Why not everybody who was convicted of having teh gayz?  Wasn't it was a terrible law in the first place?  It was wrong to convict people for being gay and ruin their life, whether they were a war hero or just your average guy who liked to suck dick.  Or do people not actually care that lots of people were damaged and opressed by that law and only war heroes should get specially nominated to be officially forgiven for liking cocks because hey, he made up for it by winning World War 2 and all.  Pardoning just one or two people for this makes it seem like anybody who doesn't get posthumously pardoned is still guilty of being gay and deserved their consequences.  Even the phrase "pardoned" irks me.  Hey, you guy, we're going to bestow upon you this great awesome favour of being forgiven of your gayness!  Haha, isn't that big of us?  We're so cool now!

Also....shit.  I had at least two points I wanted to make, and another half-a-point in the back, but I can't remember what they are now.  Fuck.  Oh well, it's like seven thirty now, and rather than have this be yet another draft wallowing miserably in my posts to be edited and fussed over for eternity, I'll just post it and make another post later if I remember what those points were gonna be.  I should probably get some sleep for now.

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