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Thousands of Gay, Bi Men to Be Pardoned in the UK for ‘Gross Indecency’ Convictions


The story of Alan Turing, the gay World War II codebreaker, inspired parliament to pardon some 65,000 gay and bisexual men.

The United Kingdom will pardon thousands of queer men who were charged and convicted of "gross indecency" because of their sexuality.

Homosexuality was illegal in the U.K. until 1967, and some 65,000 gay and bisexual men were convicted under homophobic laws. 15,000 of those men are still alive today.

Parliament was inspired to make the pardons by the story of Alan Turing, a World War II codebreaker and the father of modern computing. Turing was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was chemically castrated, and committed suicide. In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II gave him a royal pardon.

The U.K. is not the only country to recently pardon or apologize for conviction of gay and bisexual men. Germany announced that the country will not only pardon men, but also raise $33 million to compensate them.

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