Target: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England
Goal: Demand pardon for men convicted under gross indecency laws.
Tens of thousands of men in the United Kingdom were tried and convicted of “Gross Indecency” for nothing more than engaging in a homosexual relationship. Among these thousands was the historic cryptographer Alan Turing. During World War II, Turing was responsible for cracking the German enigma code and is widely considered to have saved millions of lives. Turing was eventually pardoned for his “crime” by a much more progressive world in 2013, but thousands of men who were also convicted have not. Something must be done to demand justice for all those who were wrongfully made into criminals.
Gross indecency laws pathologize homosexuality and literally turn it into a crime. The practice of trying innocent gay men began in the United Kingdom in 1885 and continued until it was finally banned in 1967. During this span, thousands of innocent gay men were chemically castrated or sent to prison for nothing other than having consensual gay relationships. This terrible practice is looked upon as barbaric in most parts of the modern world, yet the victims of this government sponsored persecution and eugenics program are still remembered as criminals.
This tragic state of affairs could be easily rectified by the woman who pardoned Alan Turing: Queen Elizabeth II. While it is not common that upwards of 40,000 people are pardoned at the same time, it is inarguable that these men were not criminals and should not be remembered as such. These men deserve justice from a world that would have understood and accepted them for who they were. Please sign below to demand a royal pardon for these men and to pay tribute to their memory.
Dear Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Your pardon of Alan Turing in 2013 was a wonderful moment for equality. There is no doubt that he was innocent as the crime he was convicted of was barbaric nonsense from a better forgotten age. That being said, there are still tens of thousands of men who were not pardoned for the exact same “crime.” These men were guilty of nothing other than breaking a draconian law that pathologizes something that is completely natural. It is for this reason that I beg a royal pardon for all of the other men convicted under gross indecency laws for engaging in consensual homosexual relationships.
These men were either sent to prison for their transgressions or forced to undergo a hormonal therapy that was essentially chemical castration. This state sponsored persecution and eugenics program continued for just under a hundred years and only one man has been pardoned? This is a black spot on the record of your nation’s great history and it must be corrected posthaste. I beg you to think about the families of these men and give them the justice and closure that they all deserve. Being gay is not a crime, Your Majesty, therefore these men were not, and are not, criminals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: LMNO via Wikimedia Commons