An overdue Christmas pardon

December 25th, 2013 at 11:29 am by David Farrar

is considered the father of computer science and in WWII his work with code breaking (especially Enigma) saved numerous lives. His work was indispensable to the efforts of Hut 8.

He was granted an OBE in 1945 for his wartime service. From 1945 to 1952 he worked on early computers.

In 1952 he started a relationship with a 19 year old man. The Police arrested the men for their consensual relationship, when Turing acknowledged their relationship to them, as they were investigating a burglary at his place. He pleaded guilty to “gross indecency” and was given a choice between prison and chemical castration which rendered him impotent.

He killed himself in 1954, by cyanide.

Yesterday, the UK Government had the Queen exercise the royal prerogative of mercy and pardon Turing for his conviction. It is appalling that anyone, let alone a war hero and one of the most brilliant men of his generation, was charged with a crime for an adult consensual relationship that harmed no one. Even worse that the consequences were prison or castration.

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57 Responses to “An overdue Christmas pardon”

  1. Than (376 comments) says:

    A brilliant man who achieved much, and could have achieved so much more.

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  2. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Yesterday, the US Government had the Queen exercise the royal prerogative of mercy and pardon Turing for his conviction.

    The US Government? Surely a freudian slip.

    Indeed, it’s tragic story.

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  3. Archer (156 comments) says:

    Without googling it myself, is there any reason why this wasn’t done earlier?

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  4. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    Briefly Archer, as he was rightly convicted under the law at the time there was no legal mechanism for any redress.

    The Royal Pardon has opened new ground in that it is in addition to all precedents of “mistake’, “New Evidence” et al that allow such an extension of the Royal Perogative. It has only come about by an increasingly build of pressure by many, including some very big names, to right what was a terrible wrong.

    This pardon is pure in that it is based on the outstanding service to his country by a true patriot who became a “victim” of the law as it stood in 1952.

    I am certain if the situation that Alan Turing found himself in had been say a Prince of Wales it would never reached the absurdity we now view it in these times.

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  5. dime (8,785 comments) says:

    What the….

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  6. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    I agree with this 75%. The law at the time was stupid and evil. Turing was a genius and made an extraordinary contribution to the war against Nazism. We have a great deal to be grateful to him for, and what happened to him was a tragedy. But if you are suggesting that he should have been treated differently because he was famous I am afraid I cannot quite agree. Evil laws should apply to all people equally, just like good ones.

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  7. Paulus (2,299 comments) says:

    Whilst disappointing, but that was the Law at the time but it is pleasing that his work was recognised at the time, but has become more relevant in recent years.
    As a wartime London baby thank you Alan Turing – and all the team at Bletchley.

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  8. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Indeed s.russell.
    The logical consequence though should be that everyone who was convicted based on that stupid and evil law should be pardoned.

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  9. stephieboy (1,162 comments) says:

    The offering of chemical castration as an option does indeed show how mediaeval the thinking was for so called “deviants”But then Turing was a man of his times where e.g lobotomies were routinely conducted on the difficult and recalcitrant mentally ill and hanging was a capital offence

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  10. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    eszett>The logical consequence though should be that everyone who was convicted based on that stupid and evil law should be pardoned.

    Agreed. The word “pardon” seems inappropriate in this case. It implies that he did something wrong, but the Queen has decided to forgive him because of his war time service. Whereas everyone convicted under that law should have their conviction struck from the record and the government should apologise and ask forgiveness for violating their human rights.

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  11. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    The Police arrested the men for their consensual relationship…

    Worth keeping in mind that every time you see a conservative writing that they have nothing against homosexuality, what they actually mean is they much preferred it when poofs like Turing were offered a choice between a prison sentence or chemical castration, and when the destruction of a person’s social standing resulting from being revealed as a homosexual was enough to make some of them commit suicide.

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  12. Ed Snack (1,540 comments) says:

    Worth keeping in mind that when people like Psycho Milt speak about free speech they mean that you should be free to speak what Psycho approves of and nothing else, and that if you disagree with him you are irredeemably evil and should be re-educated under threat of extreme violence. Oh, and executing a “few” people because they were somehow related to people you didn’t like is fine, as long as they really were “enemies of the people”.

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  13. Manolo (12,642 comments) says:

    Psycho, the perennial apologist for the Left.

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  14. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    It looks like the Christmas Day truce is over then?

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  15. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Milt should stop presuming what others think.

    The pardon is utterly without reason. The law at the time was indeed ridiculous – that is why it was later REPEALED. The repeal in itself is an acknowledgment that it was a bad law. Nothing further is needed.

    To start “pardoning” people for things that were crimes then but are not now is idiocy, especially when the crime was admitted to. Why not just pardon everyone?! Are we going to pardon Al Capone for bootlegging?! Well… why not?

    Whatever makes the Left feel better I suppose…

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  16. Nostalgia-NZ (4,697 comments) says:

    Actually Al Capone was imprisoned for tax evasion from memory. Whatever the case, on the surface whilst pardons for the dead are obviously worthless to the deceased it is seen as an important function of the law is to recognise it’s own failings. This particular pardon, while no doubt deserved, is also symbolic and perhaps even a first step for others treated as Alan Turing was. I seem to recall that some kiwi soldiers were shot as deserters in WW1 when later it became clear they may have been suffering shell shock, to this point I don’t think they have been pardoned so the Law and Justice often takes a long time, centuries even, to catch up with itself.

    In the case of Turing, we are probably seeing a ‘selective’ admission of wrong. It was wrong that he was convicted of what is now considered an archaic Law because he was a war hero. In fact, his ‘act’ wasn’t a crime according to the meaning of a ‘Pardon’ so, as others have pointed out the gesture is not equitable to others likewise convicted.

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  17. stephieboy (1,162 comments) says:

    Manolo (11,736 comments) says:
    December 25th, 2013 at 7:21 pm
    Psycho, the perennial apologist for the Left.

    Manolo, your an enthusiast for the re introduction of the prison or chemical castration option offered to Turing.?

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  18. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    The tragedy.

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  19. Reboot (78 comments) says:

    BlairM (2,193 comments) says:
    December 25th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    The pardon is utterly without reason. The law at the time was indeed ridiculous – that is why it was later REPEALED. The repeal in itself is an acknowledgment that it was a bad law. Nothing further is needed.

    If you think the law is perfectly consistent then you are blind. Sometimes the law is used for, as someone pointed out above, symbolic purposes. It’s just like how the Roast Busters were singled out for retrospective investigation when no doubt there are many other rape occurrences that were swept under the carpet. Given that there are still retarded people in today’s society who cannot accept homosexuality, the pardon is a useful and effective means to send a message. It’s for the same reason we remember famous figures who stood up against racism when there would have also been other less known activists that aren’t celebrated.

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  20. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    I suppose there were not any relationships in the public schools.

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  21. Paulus (2,299 comments) says:

    SPC – typical Socialist comment – homosexuality appears in ALL schools and society, so why pick on Public Schools by which you mean UK Private Schools of both sexual orientation.

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  22. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Given that there are still retarded people in today’s society who cannot accept homosexuality, the pardon is a useful and effective means to send a message.

    Well quite, you just gave the game away, and that’s why I oppose it. It is not the job of government to send messages, it’s their job to protect me from people who want to force their message on me.

    I refuse to accept any lifestyle that encourages the degradation of soul and body unto misery and death. I’m happy to tolerate those who have a different opinion and wish to lead their own lives as they see fit, but it used to be that tolerance was sufficient. Why must we now “accept” as well as tolerate?

    To pardon Turing is to say that he didn’t do the deed, when he obviously did. The law change, which occurred nearly 50 years ago now in the UK, should be more than sufficient to say that it was morally wrong to criminalise Turing’s consensual sexual activity. Furthermore, as an employee of the intelligence services, even if his activity had been legal, it would have justified removal from his position and a betrayal of his earlier good work, since it opened him up to blackmail.

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  23. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Quite agree BlairM. Even on Christmas Day DPF cannot escape his obsession with homosexuality and making all things safe for homosexuals.

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  24. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    I refuse to accept any lifestyle that encourages the degradation of soul and body unto misery and death.

    So you think that it is homosexuality that “encourages the degradation of soul and body unto misery and death.” It doesn’t.

    And very ironic that you should mention that in this post, because it is the attitude and treatment of homosexuals by the likes of you that does that.

    To pardon Turing is to say that he didn’t do the deed, when he obviously did. The law change, which occurred nearly 50 years ago now in the UK, should be more than sufficient to say that it was morally wrong to criminalise Turing’s consensual sexual activity.

    Actually, no, a pardon does not say that.
    In fact the pardon says he did “do the deed” but it was morally wrong to convict him, because the law was morally wrong.

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  25. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Scott (1,544 comments) says:
    December 26th, 2013 at 9:36 am
    Quite agree BlairM. Even on Christmas Day DPF cannot escape his obsession with homosexuality and making all things safe for homosexuals.

    Actually it was the UK government and the Queen who choose the timing not DPF. And the post is about correcting an injustice, not about making things safe for anyone in particular.

    It says a lot about you and your very own obsession with homosexuality that you cannot see this.

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  26. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    I agree that Turing was a war hero and contributed hugely to the winning of the war and computing in general etc.
    I do not think that he should have been arrested, but I also can see the point of view of the law at the time.

    I generally think that laws should –

    1) act as a protection of the good and moral and
    2) act as a preventative to behaviour that harms or is injurious to society (and indeed prohibits persons injuring themselves – this is why suicide is still a criminal offense in many countries)

    One has to ask if homosexual conduct is normal or not, or is in the best interests of society as a whole.
    I would say that the answer to both of those questions is a firm, NO. This was a bit more obvious back then without the pervasive influence of political correctness when people had a bit more common sense. So they put laws into effect that reflected those views.

    Yes, homosexuality is accepted now through long campaigns of protest and activism. I’ve said before that gays should not be discriminated against. But that does not mean that their sexual acts should be OK’d. Just like smokers should be accepted but that doesn’t mean smoking should be seen as healthy or beneficial. We know it isn’t. If we take a step back and have a good look we can also see that gay sex (including sodomy) isn’t normal. I’m sorry, but it just isn’t.

    People shouldn’t be arrested for that, but it doesn’t mean the law should be accommodating things like gay marriage and adoption or that it should be taught in schools as being something normal.

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  27. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    One has to ask if homosexual conduct is normal or not, or is in the best interests of society as a whole.
    I would say that the answer to both of those questions is a firm, NO.

    Yes, homosexuality is accepted now through long campaigns of protest and activism.

    LOL, A long and convoluted way of saying, I don’t like gays. Fair enough.

    Who is to say that you are normal? And who is to say you are in the best interest of society?

    Homosexuality is accepted because it is normal and a part of our society very much like every other aspect of consenting adults.

    Not because of protest and campaigns, which were not for accepting homosexuality, but against bigotry, hatred and discrimination. Big difference.

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  28. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    Not because of protest and campaigns, which were not for accepting homosexuality

    Actually, you’re wrong.
    Up until 1970, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) considered homosexuality to be a disorder.
    And do you know why it isn’t now? Do you know why it is seen this way? Do you think it is because the medical fraternity took a good long look at it and found evidence to the contrary and changed their minds? No.
    It was purely because of activism and bullying. And they are still bullying now.

    Dr. Irving Bieber, prominent psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, who presented a paper on “homosexuality and transsexualism” at the 1970 APA convention. Instead of challenging his findings by questioning the accuracy of his research methods, they just disrupted his presentation. Way easier. Especially when there isn’t any research to support your position.

    Imagine the prestigious, scientific setting of the APA conference where Dr. Bieber presents his study – homosexual activists employ what has become their customary tactic: fear and intimidation. As Bieber begins to present his research, homosexual attendees loudly mock and laugh at him. They further disrupt his presentation by shouting and calling him names and making threats, suggesting he deserved to be “drawn and quartered.” If we said something like that about homosexuals, it’d be a “hate crime.”

    On May 3, 1971, the psychiatrist protesters broke into a meeting of distinguished members of their profession and grabbed the microphone – giving it to one of their allied outside activists, who proclaimed:

    Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you. … We’re rejecting you all as our owners.

    “No one raised an objection,” recounts Dr. Satinover. Their disruption was met with more reconciliation and an appearance before the APA’s Committee on Nomenclature. Further bullying and lobbying delivered the committee vote that maybe, just maybe, homosexual behavior was not a sign of psychiatric disorder after all.

    By the time of the 1973 APA convention, the group announced its new “finding” with only 15 minutes for dissenters to discuss 70 years of psychiatric research to the contrary. The hijacked vote was formally appealed to the full membership. But activists already had a letter drafted, in part by friends at the National Gay Taskforce, urging a vote to “retain the nomenclature change,” which was sent to the 30,000 APA members with the money the NGTF had raised.

    Of course, no one let on to APA members that the letter came from homosexual activists, as Dr. Bayer revealed, “that would have been ‘the kiss of death.’” But the letter drafted and paid for by the NGTF was able to secure a majority response from a third of the members who responded. But the vast majority was not behind the change. How do I know? Four years later, the Medical Journal Aspects of Human Sexuality reported a survey showing “69 percent of psychiatrists disagreed with the vote and still considered homosexuality a disorder.”

    Let’s look at the final vote –

    On April 9, 1974, results of the vote were announced. Only 10,555 of the 17,905 APA members had voted in the election. The results were as follows,

    Total APA members eligible to vote: 17,905
    Number of APA members that actually voted: 10,555
    Number of members that “Abstained”: 367
    Number of “ No” votes-votes to keep “homosexuality” in the DSM as a mental disorder: 3,810
    Number of “Yes” votes-votes to remove “homosexuality” from the DSM as a mental disorder: 5,854

    So, out of the total eligible 17,905 voting members of the APA, just 5,854 voted to change homosexuality from being a mental disorder.
    And they are quite open about the fact that it was political –

    Kay Lahusen and Barbera Gittings know what really happened to the APA. In the book, Making History they are quite open about the reality.

    Kay: This was always more of a political decision than a medical decision.
    Barbara: It never was a medical decision—and that’s why I think the action came so fast. After all, it was only three years from the time that feminists and gays first sapped the APA at a behavior therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973 to approve removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. It was a political move.” (Making History, p.224)

    “That’s how far we’ve come in ten years. Now we even have the American Psychiatric Association running scared.”
    -Barbara Gittings, Same-gender sex activist

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  29. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Actually, you’re wrong.
    Up until 1970, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) considered homosexuality to be a disorder.
    And do you know why it isn’t now? Do you know why it is seen this way? Do you think it is because the medical fraternity took a good long look at it and found evidence to the contrary and changed their minds? No.
    It was purely because of activism and bullying. And they are still bullying now

    Nonsense. It isn’t listed as a disorder, because it isn’t. And never was.

    No respected scientist would want it listed as a disorder today.
    It’s called science and scientific evidence, Fletch. Meaning when the evidence isn’t there or new evidence arises, science can change it’s opinion.

    But go on, hold on to your beliefs, because reason, logic and evidence never altered what you believe in.

    You just don’t like gays. Okay. But hardly anyone believes your nonsense about them anymore.

    Oh you poor victim, you. You and your likes have been bullying homosexuals at every occasion. Just because people will no longer willing to take your nonsense lying down does not mean you are bullied.

    And thank goodness for that! Thank goodness that someone like Alan Turning would have to live in fear today of people like yourself.

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  30. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Paulus, how is it socialist to note that boarding schools in the UK are called public schools?

    The topic was same sex “activity”, something that does not take place in day schools.

    And it is not socialist to note that the poor could not afford public schools.

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  31. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    That is of course meant to say: Thank goodness that someone like Alan Turning wouldn’t have to live in fear today of people like yourself.

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  32. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    BlairM, it is an interesting distinction that between the words tolerance and acceptance, and it does indicate where the opponents of law reform and same sex civil unions and marriages now are.

    When you say that despite the law reform those that tolerate those changes (rather than support and accept them), homosexuals still have no place in intelligence work – “because they could still be blackmailed” – you are of course speaking to that distinction between tolerance and acceptance.

    How you would use your (and others) lack of acceptance to justify exclusion of homosexuals from some occupations – intelligence, security, leadership etc?

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  33. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    It isn’t listed as a disorder, because it isn’t. And never was.

    eszett, YES IT WAS.
    You can’t just say something like that when the fact is otherwise.

    Homosexuality was listed as a mental illness with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) until 1973

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  34. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Fletch, determining that a behavioural matter – such as sexual activity is a mental health issue was aberrant. It indicated that the profession was originally influenced by culture (imposing some natural law and right way of behaving through health care treatment) rather than science.

    It was probably introduced as society became more secular/age of reason, and sought to establish the established/received “moral” bias of the past religious regime as part of the new – so they called the immoral abnormal and imposed normalcy not as morality, but as health treatment.

    How is a behaviour abnormal because only a minority practice it?

    The whole misuse of mental health for political and religious purposes is exposed when the extremity of the age of reason is reached – a regime dedicated to the imposition of an ideology (whether communist or fascist or dominance of private capital markets – where the “weak” are not seen as abnormal, but as failed labour commodity units needing harsh treatment regimes to motivate them) – thus the Soviet gulag and the treatment of political dissidents.

    It’s just an apologetic for Inquisition, this search for a ground to legitimise inhumanity, this will to judge and exclude and call this good.

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  35. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Once again we should note the distinction between past natural law and present natural law.

    The past natural law was based on the values of the groups being imposed across society, the present natural law is based on the values of the group being imposed across society.

    OK I’ll explain that – in the past our values were based on the morality or otherwise of behaviour, now they are based on how we treat other people.

    In the past we would rush to judge something right or wrong, normal or not normal – but now we are all members of a society as equal political citizens despite our differences. So we accept that despite these differences we have equal rights to our place in society. This leads to greater tolerance of diversity, because democracy requires co-existence and this greater acceptance of each other.

    Thus today our natural law is based on our equal human rights – so regardless of religion, race, political creed, gender, employment status, marital status, sexuality we are equally members of the same political society.

    This replaced the old natural law, whereby some were the better ones and the others were judged less than equal based on some right way of believing and behaving.

    Now a right way of believing and behaving is part of (personal) religious morality but not imposed in wider society as natural law via blasphemy law, political censorship, criminal law or age of reason mental health normalcy.

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  36. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    …it used to be that tolerance was sufficient.

    When was this earlier time when “tolerance” was sufficient? We don’t “tolerate” things by making them a criminal offence, so in this country that rules out any time before 1986. And even in 1986 we had conservatives out waving flags in front of Parliament, trying to make keeping poofters in their place a matter of national pride and patriotic duty – which also doesn’t seem to fit the heading of “tolerance.” Most of those flag-wavers are still alive today and are unlikely to have changed their opinion at all, which is less “tolerance” than “lacking the courage of your convictions.”

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  37. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    Homosexuality was listed as a mental illness with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) until 1973

    Didn’t Soviet psychiatrists list religious obsession as a mental illness for quite a while as well? Maybe it’s a disorder, Fletch – officials have said so. You should get it seen to…

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  38. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Fletch, being listed as a disorder does not mean it was in fact a disorder. Get it?

    It was delisted as a disorder because the scientific opinion and new facts enabled us to get a better understanding of homosexuality and not be influenced by emotion and irrationality.

    Homosexuality is not and never was a disorder. Period.
    You can jump up and down as much as you like, that is a fact.

    You don’t like gays. Fine. But stop dehumanising and demonising people who you don’t like.

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  39. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    So you think that it is homosexuality that “encourages the degradation of soul and body unto misery and death.” It doesn’t.

    And very ironic that you should mention that in this post, because it is the attitude and treatment of homosexuals by the likes of you that does that.

    eszett – you’re entitled to your opinion. I disagree. And I don’t treat men who have sex with other men any differently from anybody else (that is what tolerance and respect is). But I’m not going to lie to them about what I think about human sexuality if they ask.

    And no, it is not ironic. Firstly, people who behave a certain way need to take responsibility for their own actions. It’s very sad if people get depressed because others disapprove of the way they behave, but the answer is to either behave differently, or own your actions, not have a big cry and ask me to change my opinion or deeply held belief. Own what you do. If shagging other men makes you sad then don’t do it. If it makes you happy, then good for you. People get depressed for all sorts of reasons, but that is not a reason for anyone to change what they believe about something. It’s a reason to treat others with love, sympathy and respect.

    When you say that despite the law reform those that tolerate those changes (rather than support and accept them), homosexuals still have no place in intelligence work – “because they could still be blackmailed” – you are of course speaking to that distinction between tolerance and acceptance.

    How you would use your (and others) lack of acceptance to justify exclusion of homosexuals from some occupations – intelligence, security, leadership etc?

    SPC – you are putting words in my mouth. David Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA because of his own sexual indiscretion, and I agreed that it was the correct course of action to take – for exactly the same reason as I stated above. But you would never infer from me saying so that “hetrosexuals have no place in intelligence work” would you? So why assume that when we are talking about indiscretion with other men? The truth is that ANYONE who is sexually indiscreet has no place in intelligence work! That means if you identify as gay, you should be “out” and not given to cheating on your partner, if you have one.

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  40. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    When was this earlier time when “tolerance” was sufficient?

    Seems to me it was the period between decriminalising homosexuality and the point where gays and their right-on friends started demanding the government redefine what words mean. But yes, for many in the gay lobby it has never been enough for them to simply get on with their lives and fuck other men. They want to be congratulated for it as well, which to me is where the line should be drawn.

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  41. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    Yes, BlairM, it is quite obvious that you fail to see the bitter irony in your remarks and your attitude towards homosexuals, especially in context of this post.

    But that’s not surprising, really.

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  42. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    I don’t have any attitude towards homosexuals. I don’t feel anything negative toward men who have sex with other men at all. What they want to do is their responsibility. To what are you referring eszett?

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  43. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    BlairM, you wrote

    “Furthermore, as an employee of the intelligence services, even if his activity had been legal, it would have justified removal from his position and a betrayal of his earlier good work, since it opened him up to blackmail.”

    My interpretation of this was reasonable.

    You now clarify when you said activity, you did not mean homosexual activity itself but meant any sexual indiscretion – because you think that any man found to be cheating on his wife (or involved in an affair with another man’s wife)should be removed from intelligence work … or elected office … or any job where they could be blackmailed to the injury of their employer (according to the employer?)

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  44. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Eszett – You seem to be one of these people who want me to believe something that is not true so that other people will feel better about themselves. By contrast, I’ve not told anyone they should change their views on sexuality or their sexual practices. So who has the bad attitude now?

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  45. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    SPC – your interpretation was false. Now you know better. And now you have further put words into my mouth by expanding my view to elected officials? Not at all!

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  46. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Blair M, sure many do choose to merely tolerate and disapprove rather than accept others.

    It is nice that despite knowing that this disapproval might have a negative impact on them, that there is still the love, sympathy and respect for them – just not for their choices or for how they identify themselves to be.

    In the end it is little different to the religious thing, where Christians feel the unsaved are damned to hell, but wish to save them from this by evangelisation rather than acceptance of their unsaved status.

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  47. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    BlairM, so why the distinction between intelligence workers being blackmailed than politicians and say employees working in say finance or advanced research and technology?

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  48. eszett (2,272 comments) says:

    BlairM (2,200 comments) says:
    December 26th, 2013 at 7:29 pm
    I don’t have any attitude towards homosexuals. I don’t feel anything negative toward men who have sex with other men at all.

    lol, yeah right. And you manage to keep a straight (pun intended) face while you say that?
    I let your words speak for themselves, BlairM:

    I refuse to accept any lifestyle that encourages the degradation of soul and body unto misery and death


    But yes, for many in the gay lobby it has never been enough for them to simply get on with their lives and fuck other men. They want to be congratulated for it as well, which to me is where the line should be drawn.

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  49. wat dabney (3,464 comments) says:

    I’ve said before that gays should not be discriminated against…but it doesn’t mean the law should be accommodating things like gay marriage

    Actually it does.

    It means precisely that.

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  50. Johnboy (13,424 comments) says:

    I’m still waiting for that great day when men/sheep relationships are legitimised! :)

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  51. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    The area of opinion and impact on others extends into other areas of identify and practice, such as religious faith – we once had blasphemy laws in place now the area is the realm of hate speech legislation/enacted or proposed.

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  52. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Johnboy, until the sheep has had lambs leave them alone and do not touch the lambs at all.

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  53. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    eszett – my first comment was a general one. It can refer to the practice of men having sex with other men, but also to a wide variety of behaviour, much of which I am guilty of myself. If you inferred negative feelings towards anyone as a person from it, then I have to say I am an equal opportunity hater, and moreover a self-hater. But of course I wasn’t being negative – it’s like saying “I refuse to accept failure”. One should not infer from such a comment that I hate people who fail!

    My second comment specifically demarcated those who are prepared to live in tolerance of others (gay or otherwise), and those who demand or oblige something of others. No, I am not going to tell you how awesome you are because you like to smoke cock. And getting back to the topic at hand, this is the line the pardon crosses. It is a special dispensation, it’s not a blanket pardon of all those convicted of crimes no longer in existence. It’s special treatment. And I don’t see why opposing special treatment is somehow discriminatory. Quite the opposite I would have thought?

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  54. chiz (1,095 comments) says:

    Fletch:

    Up until 1970, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) considered homosexuality to be a disorder.
    And do you know why it isn’t now? Do you know why it is seen this way? Do you think it is because the medical fraternity took a good long look at it and found evidence to the contrary and changed their minds?

    That is in fact what happened. Research showed that there was no significant co-morbidity between homosexuality and mental illness – and that many gay people had no mental health problems – and the APA delisted homosexuality as a result of that research. The fact that some activists want to overplay their role, and that conservative christian websites you read also say otherwise, doesn’t change what happened.

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  55. chiz (1,095 comments) says:

    BlairM:

    It’s very sad if people get depressed because others disapprove of the way they behave, but the answer is to either behave differently, or own your actions, not have a big cry and ask me to change my opinion or deeply held belief. Own what you do.

    I agree that its sad if you get depressed merely because other people disapprove of you. But what if other people don’t stick to merely disapproving of you but go further – treating you differently legally for example.

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  56. slijmbal (1,134 comments) says:

    As previously pointed out we should not apply the current moral framework to historical mores. Hanging for minor offences was once the norm.

    And as much as I do not have the slightest emotional understanding of homosexuality, I also don’t feel the need to punish such behaviour or raise it in esteem by equating a dislike of homosexuality as a criticisable activity.

    Turing was a pretty impressive mathematician with an unusual ability to see real world applications – (the average mathematician appears to lose the ability to perform arithmetic within a couple of years) He also provided some fundamental pure mathematical theorems usable today.

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  57. Fentex (664 comments) says:

    I don’t really approve of a pardon for Alan Turing. If it’s supposed to acknowledge the stupidity of anti-homosexual laws then why pick him out?

    If it is about correcting past injustices of prejudiced laws then it more properly should be a voiding of all historical convictions under such laws.

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