Seeds: As the world becomes an increasingly accepting place for members of the LBGTQ+ community, so does the legislation that structures and reflects society. Although homosexuality was decriminalized in the United Kingdom back in 1967, those who had been convicted of crimes under anti-gay laws have yet to be pardoned by the UK government.
Core: This week, the British government announced that they would be issuing posthumous pardons to all men who had been prosecuted for having or seeking sex with another man. Since lesbian sex was never outlawed in the UK, the pardon will only apply to gay men.
Skin: The law that will grant the pardon to these men has been nicknamed “Turing’s Law” in honor of Alan Turing. Turing was an engineer who is most well known for breaking Germany’s code (enigma) during WWII, helping lead the Allies to victory. In 1952, Turing, a gay man, was convicted of attempting to have sex with another man. As a result, he was sentenced to chemical castration, which he endured until his suicide in 1954.
Leaves: Turing’s Law is not the only pro-LBGTQ+ legislation to recently be passed in Europe. Earlier this month, France overturned a law that required transgender men and women to be sterilized in order to be eligible for gender transition. If this trend continues, more legislation in favor of LBGTQ+ rights will continue to spread across Europe.
Food For Thought: Do you think Turing’s Law matters? Why do you think the British government waited this long to pardon these men?
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