outbrain
Close  

Cumberbatch, Fry, others urge UK to pardon gay men

/ 10:45 PM January 31, 2015
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for photographers at the world premiere of the film "The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies" in London on Dec. 1, 2014. AP

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for photographers at the world premiere of the film “The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies” in London on Dec. 1, 2014. AP

LONDON—Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch has joined others in calling for the British government to pardon gay and bisexual men convicted in the past under the defunct “gross indecency” law.

Their letter published Saturday in the Guardian praises the government for the 2013 pardon of World War II code breaker Alan Turing, whom Cumberbatch portrays in the movie “The Imitation Game.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Turing, who played a vital role in breaking the German wartime code, was praised by Winston Churchill as having made “the single biggest contribution” to the Allied victory in World War II.

But Turing, a gay man in an era when homosexuality was illegal, was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 and committed suicide two years later.

FEATURED STORIES

A page from the hand-written notebook by Alan Turing, the World War II code-breaking genius depicted by Benedict Cumberbatch in the Oscar-nominated "The Imitation Game," is shown in a special preview at Bonhams auctioneers, Jan. 22, in New York. AP

A page from the hand-written notebook by Alan Turing, the World War II code-breaking genius depicted by Benedict Cumberbatch in the Oscar-nominated “The Imitation Game,” is shown in a special preview at Bonhams auctioneers, Jan. 22, in New York. AP

These events are at the core of “The Imitation Game,” which chronicles the role Turing played in cracking the Germans’ “Enigma” code machine. It has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Cumberbatch’s performance.

Turing was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II at the recommendation of the government, but the letter points out that 49,000 other men convicted under the same law also merit pardons.

“The UK’s homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable,” the letter said.

The letter was also signed by Rachel Barnes, Turing’s niece; Morten Tyldum, director of “The Imitation Game,” actor Stephen Fry and longtime rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

The letter calls on Prince William, his wife Kate and other “young leaders of today” to take steps to pardon all of the men, including an estimated 15,000 thought to still be alive.

A spokesperson for the royal couple said they wouldn’t make any public comment on the issue because it’s a government matter.

Thousands have signed an online petition calling for mass pardons.

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Alan Turing, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kate Middleton, Morten Tyldum, Peter Tatchell, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II, Rachel Barnes, Stephen Fry, The Imitation Game
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
entertainment

Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina

January 18, 2020 10:42 AM

entertainment

Eminem drops surprise album, advocates changes to gun laws

January 18, 2020 10:23 AM

newsinfo

Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan

January 18, 2020 09:40 AM

newsinfo

Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees

January 18, 2020 09:30 AM



© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.