BRITAIN: Royal Assent Granted On Posthumous Pardon For Thousands Convicted Under Anti-Sodomy Laws

The Guardian reports:

Thousands of men convicted of offences that once criminalised homosexuality but are no longer on the statute book have been posthumously pardoned under a new law. A clause in the policing and crime bill, which received royal assent on Tuesday, extends to those who are dead the existing process of purging past criminal records.

The general pardon is modelled on the 2013 royal pardon granted by the Queen to Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke the German Enigma codes during the second world war. He killed himself in 1954, at the age of 41, after his conviction for gross indecency.

Welcoming the legislation, the justice minister Sam Gyimah said: “This is a truly momentous day. We can never undo the hurt caused, but we have apologised and taken action to right these wrongs. I am immensely proud that ‘Turing’s law’ has become a reality under this government.”

There is already a procedure in place for the living to apply to the Home Office to have their past convictions, relating to same-sex relationships, expunged from their criminal records.

  • andrew

    Better late than never.

  • WitlessProtection

    The Queen knows better than to piss of the gays, she doesn’t want to wind up looking like KellyAnne Con-way.

    • vorpal

      Six years after her death, the Queen still won’t look anywhere near as bad as KellyAnne does today.

    • Hue-Man

      She learned from her mother (who died at 101).

      It is cocktail hour at Clarence House; the Queen (as she then was) is
      waiting for her gin and Dubonnet. She calls down to the servants’
      quarters: “I don’t know about any of you queens down there, but this
      Queen up here wants a drink.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/all-the-queens-men-9237076.html

  • Robincho

    A horrible price to exact from a man without whom, ironically, there would have been no nation to exact it…

    • Treant

      If you’ve ever read about what happened to Turing, it went from horrible to horrific.

      There’s no way to redeem that, exactly, but I’m just gonna admire the man and realize that if he were 41 today he’d be a hot, and really smart, wolf of a man.

      • Robincho

        And you’re not just talkin’ “enigmas” here, dude…

    • vorpal

      Turing laid out much of the groundwork for the theory of computation.

      If such a brilliant man hadn’t driven to suicide by grossly unjust laws at such a young age, theoretical computer science might be much further ahead today than it is.

      Truly a tragedy on every level.

      • Ernest Endevor

        Not to be throwing gasoline about but there’s a very compelling case that he didn’t in fact kill himself, and that his life after his conviction was reasonably good and getting better.

        • vorpal

          I’ve heard it, and didn’t find it any more compelling than the hypothesis that Matthew Shepard’s killers were actually gay men and the murder was the result of a drug deal gone badly.

          • Ernest Endevor

            Not remotely the same. His closest friend among others. And I think that the story of a man who’d overcome such adversity to live and grow is more compelling. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-18561092

          • Regan DuCasse

            The thing is, those hormones he was forced to take, had a terrible toll on him, physically and mentally. That’s the way these hormones were SUPPOSED to work. And no doubt contributed to his depression. There are many prescription drugs whose side effects (like Prednisone and other steroids), can cause depression or other distinct behavioral problems.

            So it’s not out of the realm of possibility, that the chemical castration drugs he took, led to his suicide.

          • Ernest Endevor

            Of course. But his close friend recalls that he was over the effects of them, was fit, and optimistic about the future. Also, he was a pretty well-adjusted gay man of his time: such people did exist. I know the tragic suicide is the accepted version but I think the accidental death seems plausible. Either way, he was treated in a disgusting manner by a nation he helped to save and his death at such an early age was a tragic loss – however it occurred.

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  • Treant

    Liz, for all her faults, isn’t bad people. And her mum taught her well.

  • Lars Littlefield

    Good.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    The Hill is reporting that Melania may not move to the white house. Hey staying would cost over a billion dollars over 4 years.

    • Treant

      Quelle fucking surprise. Let Trump pay for it from his “billions.”

      • Lazycrockett

        Yeah we all knew she wasn’t leaving her golden cage in NYC.

    • Robincho

      Wow. $1,000,000,000+ for a whore who once commanded $5…

      • Treant

        At the time, it was actually 5 tolar, or about $0.02. But that was before the chest inflation. Melania’s chest, that is.

        • Robincho

          Odd. I just got this press release from the FWOTUS office:

          “At the time, it was actually 5 tolar, or about $0.02. But that was before inflation.”

      • Whole lotta slut-shaming agoin’ on here, folks. Let’s not descend to the level of…well, Orange Julius Caesar.

    • The_Wretched

      She’s an ornament not a wife. I’m not surprised. They probably couldn’t figure out the logistics of her submission contract in the whitehouse setting.

    • vorpal

      She is probably secretly gushing with glee to escape and not have that orange mess heaving, grunting, and groaning naked on top of her.

      I had a nightmare once that I was a gorgeous blonde woman being humped like a hyper hyena from behind by Danny DeVito, which was pretty horrifying.

      At least DeVito’s got a sense of humor.

      • Robincho

        At least rhea gets a perl necklace, but it’s hell getting it out of her feathers…

      • AJ Drew

        oh… if I had to choose between nightly dreams, I would gladly dream about a train of DeVito clones rather than… ewww.

        • vorpal

          I suspect that I would actually rather have sex with Danny DeVito than have to even experience a dream about having sex with His Royal Shitgibbon.

      • Mike__in_Houston

        Well, so much for that lunch [referring to the “secretly gushing with glee” paragraph above]…

  • Lazycrockett
    • The_Wretched

      I keep thinking that trump’s handlers don’t want him to shame himself publicly. And yet, it’s another day (another hour even) and there he goes. What do you do with a president who fundamentally cannot read a teleprompter? I guess they give him 3 talking points and hope for the best?

      • Lazycrockett

        MLK jr. greatest accomplishment being involved in Bustgate!!!

      • AJ Drew

        Reading transcripts of DT’s utterings is fascinating (in a horrifying way.) Some of it actually comes through as more cogent than how he vocalizes it, some of it you can actually kinda follow his thought-process as he seems to get lost mid-sentence and/or remember what he *meant* to be saying, but much of it is like reading some beatnik poet’s stream of consciousness ramblings and you’re not sure what the pronouns are referring to or wtf he’s trying to say. Then you remember it’s DT and it’s all just razzle-dazzle bs.

        • Treant

          It’s poetry on the order of this. Alas, I can’t find the original of Gayle saying it from Bob’s Burgers.

          https://youtu.be/SUo6ZuQyeI8

        • Mike__in_Houston

          Maybe somebody will one day do a book of trump’s quotes. It will be like one of those books of Yogi Berra quotes if Yogi Berra had had an IQ of minus 10.

      • boatboy_srq

        You could have stopped at “a pResident who fundamentally cannot read.”

    • HZ81

      ME ME ME ME ME !!!!

      President 5th Grader—and I hate kids.

      • Joe in PA

        LOL, typing at the same time. ; ) What a putz that man.

        • HZ81

          With every passing minute, he continues to redoubtably embarrass this land, formerly known as the USA, now a subsidiary of Russia.

      • grada3784

        What do you have against 5th Graders?

        • HZ81

          Besides their existence? Not sure. 😉

          • grada3784

            But to compare them to Benedict Donald. That’s really hard.

          • HZ81

            Well, a lot of 5th graders are dicks. I have relatives. I know. 😉

    • Joe in PA

      Ayyyup, Black History Month is all about you Donnie, all about you. 🙁

    • ByronK

      “Black History Month is a great, great thing, Lot’s of fabulous Black people who have done good stuff that everyone is talking about. Of course it’s a special month for me since I’m 1/28 coloured. And as you know, I do the greatest things so let’s celebrate me.”

      • Joe in PA

        The really sad, sad thing is…that is a believable comment from this ass.

        • ByronK

          I read the whole speech. What an embarrassment.

          • Mike__in_Houston

            Well, at least we know it isn’t plagiarized. Nobody else on earth could, or would, write so horribly.

    • SFBruce

      Exactly one sentence about Martin Luther King, Jr. Even that is typical Trumpian, mushy rhetoric. He constantly uses “incredible” and “unbelievable” as synonyms for really, really great. But using the words in these ways is nonsensical. I can’t think of anything more credible than King’s example. The other day he described Neil Gorsuch as “unbelievably” highly respected. When someone is, indeed, highly respected, why would you characterize that quality as unbelievable?

      Words matter, especially coming from the president of the US, and his orangeness’ use of the language gives us a window into what passes for thought on his part.

      • InconCEIVable!

      • Acronym Jim

        His handlers told him he was over-using the word “bigly.”

    • Acronym Jim

      “We have Lincoln, we have Jefferson, we have Dr. Martin Luther King.”

      One of these things is not like the other.

      http://www.writing-skills.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Facepalm-statue.jpg

    • JCF
  • barrixines

    A kernel of pink corn found in a turd floating in the sewer of 2017 British politics.

  • Max_1
    • Joe in PA

      Ok, under the guise of ‘look on the bright side’, Judge Gorsuch will forever be known as the SC judge appointed by Heir Trumpee. Teeheehee. That’s gotta sting a ivy-league, Oxford educated judge. Too bad.

      • Mike__in_Houston

        Interesting point. I never thought of it that way. There will be a special “Hall of Shame” for the Supreme Court justice appointed in the next bit of time here, who knows how long it will last. It’s already been about 30 years since the coronation, hasn’t it?

  • Joe in PA

    So how long before the sadz from Perkins, et. al.?

  • A brit

    Americans here mentioning the Queen don’t get it. Royal assent is a complete formality, it hasn’t been refused by a monarch since 1703 or something. This was a product of our parliament.

    • Robincho

      “La Reine Le Veult.”

    • Queen Anne was the last sovereign to deny it — but she was instructed by her Prime Minister to do so with some Scottish Bill as I remember. yes, around 1703. No sovereign wants to mess with Parliament and risk what happened to good old Charles 1 and lose their head over the matter, do they? LOL.

  • David

    Must have really annoyed the Queen. GOOD.

    • Dazzer

      Why one earth would it have annoyed the Queen? Her own cousin is openly gay and she still talks to him.

      • Robincho

        The Queen is married to a second cousin, and she has another one who was married to the late Zsa Zsa Gabor. Blame it on that fecund bitch Vicky…

        • Ernest Endevor

          And her uncle was gay.

          • Rumor among the British aristocracy is that Prince Philip had relationships with men before he was married, and perhaps after. I am sure he had many offers. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0efc0867cbaff3212875773cc402b89bdc04612c3a69267871e8ae156b84c02.jpg

          • Ernest Endevor

            Almost all English public school boys and university men of that era had homosexual love affairs with each other. I know that he had a long-term affair with the English musical star Patricia Kirkwood. Never heard of men.

          • An elderly Earl who was dating a friend of mine – and into “red” if you get my drift- told me this (seriously) in a drunken stupor over dinner one night. I am not saying who it is. He also referred to Her Majesty as “that little commie”, the Queen’s politics were far too left wing for him.

          • Ernest Endevor

            Red? Strawberry jam? (I’ve led a very sheltered life.)

            Doesn’t surprise me in the least. We are having dinner with a titled gent some years ago. He’d spent a good many years living in Kenya so the hubby asked him what had taken him to Africa. “Black cock,” he replied.

          • Uncles. Duke of Kent, Lord Louis Mountbatten (Philip’s Uncle assinated by the IRA, and a younger Duke of Windsor / Edward VIII reportedly for starters).

          • Ernest Endevor

            Duke of Kent was Noel Coward’s lover. Allegedly!

          • Ernest Endevor

            He was. So was Phillip. Crooked teeth, but that’s English dentistry of its time.

          • Robincho

            Churchill slept with Ivor (“Keep the Home Fires Burning”) Novello, who wasn’t exactly estranged from Coward either. When asked how it was, Churchill replied, “Musical!” …

          • Robincho

            Won’t ANYONE think of her “forgotten” youngest uncle, Prince John?…

        • The Queen and Prince Philip are not Second Cousins. They are more distant cousins — they are both descended from Christian IX of Denmark and from Queen Victoria. I believe their closest relation is third cousin. Philip himself is a claimant to the British Throne through Princess Alice, Queen Victoria’s second oldest daugher. His great aunt btw was Empress Alexandra of Russia – murdered in 1918.

          • Robincho

            I have a forest of royal family trees in my library. The issue here is a minor one of cousinly nomenclature. Philip comes from Queen Victoria via her daughter Alice, thence via HER daughter Victoria, thence via HER daughter Alice*. Elizabeth comes from Queen Victoria via The Boyz Club™ — i.e., via her son Edward VII, thence via his son George V, thence via HIS son George VI. Whatever one wishes to call Elizabeth & her husband Philip, they are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria. As is Fred Anhalt Gabor of Palm Springs.
            * This family srsly needs fresh material when naming kids…

          • Princess Alice, Philip’s mother is a real heroine. She is honored for sheltering Greek Jews and saving their lives in World War 2 in Athens in Yad Vashem Holocaust Center in Israel — as a Righteous Among the Nations. The Germans would have executed her if caught. http://www.yadvashem.org/righteous/stories/princess-alice

          • Robincho

            Quite so… Blessings on ALL Alices, including Ghostley, Kramden, and B. Toklas, not to mention Wonderland…

        • JCF

          Hey! Do NOT go there!

          [Sorry, just in another Jenna Coleman haze. 😉 ]

          http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/20/590x/secondary/Jenna-Coleman-Queen-Victoria-634735.jpg

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Bullshit. It should be an apology, not a fucking pardon. These men did nothing wrong. #ApologiesNotPardons

  • boatboy_srq

    That’s lovely.

    Now, what about the guys (and yes the “offenders” are almost entirely men) who are still alive and living with their convictions?

  • MBear

    Reparations or shuddap

  • Tempus Fuggit

    Gosh, how magnanimous and stuff! They’ve issued a pardon. The dictionaries say that word means (1) the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense or (2) to forgive or excuse a person, error, or offense. Any of that sound applicable? Me either. Oh, and the still-living victims of the previous anti-gay laws can apply to the Home Office to have their past convictions expunged? I’d say that’s a good start, but it’s a pathetic one. The Home Office should jolly well reverse those convictions, every last one of them, without the convicts having to lift a finger. Moreover, there ought to be appropriate reparations.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    A gesture, since any affected will be in their late 60s at least, but useful.

    I do remember the Act (I was a 13yo schoolboy): I knew I was gay, and then knew I was legal (except the only way to find men, then, was by cottaging

    • Robincho

      How cheesy…

      • Mihangel apYrs

        whatever….

        I thought to give the situation a personal aspect, especially as I have lived through the fifty years of LGBT advances in the UK. In a small town there were NO social outlets.

        One does hope that your effete sensitivities weren’t too offended

        • Robincho

          Dude. One also hopes that you snap the fuck out of it. My “cheesy” was a pun on your “cottaging” and nothing more…

          • Mihangel apYrs

            sorry honeybunch – I’m a bit humour-deficient at the moment – got to get the funeral gear out in three hours, so I’m a bit “off”

  • BeaverTales

    I’ve been reading about the mathematics behind Turing Machines, Stack Machines (which show language dependence) and Finite State Machines (basically Turing Machines without memory ‘tape’), and his insights in applied mathematical logic were truly groundbreaking for his time.

    If you like math and math history, it’s essential reading

    The movie had many oversimplifications, and his insights were actually not rejected by his peers, they were supportive of his ideas all along. It was mostly the religious figures in the Churchill government who were simply too stupid to understand how important his work really was to the war effort that slowed things down.

    • Hue-Man

      I’m fascinated by Turing’s time at Princeton – some of the greatest brains of the 20th century all in one place!

      In 1937, Turing mapped his work to Church’s, an addition that he included in the final draft of his famous paper. He also wrote a paper on lambda calculus, and two papers on group theory. While at Princeton, he saw his solution published in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society.

      Ever humble and evidently inept at self-promotion, his Princeton talk
      about the Turing machine was sparsely attended. He received only two
      requests for reprints for his paper. Few of his colleagues seemed
      patient enough to dig into his complex arguments. And as Turing himself
      put it in a note home to his mother, solving the entsheidungsproblem not so much a big deal when Einstein was just down the hall.

      With the war coming, cryptography was also on his mind. He conjured
      up a secure scheme for key-based coding and began dreaming about testing aspects of Riemann’s hypothesis.

      https://www.princeton.edu/turing/alan/history-of-computing-at-p/

      • Robincho

        One night, Efrem Zimbalist and Gregor Piatigorsky played chamber music with Einstein (an amateur violinist) at the latter’s Princeton home. Afterwards, a visibly nervous Einstein asked Piatigorsky, “Did I play well?” And the cellist replied, “You played RELATIVELY well.”

        • Hue-Man

          Isn’t that Special! (I promise not to give up my day-job.)

      • BeaverTales

        Great link. Thanks for pointing it out

  • JT

    It’s about damn time!

  • JCF

    Justice EXTRAORDINARILY Delayed.

    (but better late than never)

    Alan, Memory Eternal. “Dwell in the Light Forevermore” http://cdn.jwpepper.com/audio/10366323.mp3