The family of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing deliver Change.org petition to Downing Street signed by almost half a million people calling for more than 49,000 British gay men convicted under historic anti-gay laws in the UK. Turing’s relatives Nevil Hunt (great nephew), Rachel Barnes (great niece), Thomas Barnes (great great nephew) and Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude delivered the petition to No.10 Downing Street. 23rd February 2015. Image credit must read:  © Andrew Aitchison / change.org
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Alan Turing's family and Attitude editor deliver petition to Downing Street

2015-02-23
The family of WWII codebreaker Alan Turing, joined by Attitude editor Matthew Todd, this morning delivered a petition to Downing Street signed by more than half a million people. Almost half a million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for more than 49,000 British gay men convicted under historic anti-gay laws in the UK. turing delivery picPictured: Turing's relatives outside Downing Street this morning, alongside Attitude Editor Matthew Todd (at right).  The petition started on January 26, calls on the UK government to pardon more than 49,000 British gay men convicted under historic ant-gay laws in the UK. Turing himself was posthumously pardoned in 2013. Turing’s relatives Rachel Barnes, 52, (great niece), Thomas Barnes, 21 (great great nephew) and Nevil Hunt (great nephew) joined Attitude's Matthew Todd to deliver the petition to No.10 Downing Street at 10:30am this morning. The delivery took place just hours after the Oscars ceremony in which The Imitation Game, which celebrates the codebreaker’s life, took home one major award. See the film's screenwriter's inspiring acceptance speech at the ceremony here. The number of signatures on the petition, signed by people in at least 74 countries, currently stands at more than 524,000. "I consider it to be fair and just that everybody who was convicted under the Gross Indecency Law is given a pardon. It is illogical that my great uncle has been the only one to be pardoned when so many were convicted of the same crime," said Turing's great niece, Rachel Barnes. “I feel sure that Alan Turing would have also wanted justice for everybody." "'Generations of gay and bisexual men were forced to live their lives in a state of terror," said Matthew Todd. “Men convicted of gross indecency were often considered to have brought huge shame on their families and many took their own lives. We still live with the legacy of this period today and it's about time the country addressed this appalling part of our history.” More than 50,000 Change.org users signed the petition after receiving an email from Stephen Fry on February 10, asking them to back the campaign. In the email, he said: "Alan Turing was the greatest computer scientist ever born in Britain. In one stroke he defined the criteria by which the Nazis' 'impossible' Enigma code could be broken and laid the foundations of modern computing. He was a hero. "He was also gay. He was prosecuted for it, punished with chemical castration and took his own life, aged 41. In 2013 the British Government rightly pardoned Turing. But Turing was not the only man convicted for being gay under the laws of "gross indecency". These were pernicious, cruel laws that fortunately don't exist now but whose shadow still looms over too many. "The Imitation Game film has brought Alan Turing's story to cinemas around the globe. But what about all of the men whose stories will never be heard? They also deserve their names to be cleared."