The British Government has apologised for the treatment of Alan Turing, convicted of ‘gross indecency’ and sentenced to chemical castration under anti-homosexuality laws in 1952. In a statement responding to a petition on the Prime Minister’s website, Gordon Brown has recognised that the action taken against Turing was “inhumane” and “appalling”, and that he [Turing] should be remembered for his contributions to the Allied war effort and to humanity:
It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. […] But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankindâ€™s darkest hour. […] It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europeâ€™s history and not Europeâ€™s present.