Architecture is an expression of values. Norman Foster

Royal Pardon

In the 1950s, thousands of British homosexuals were tried and sentenced for indecency. They are still waiting for their rehabilitation. How embarrassing for England.

In 2013, the British Queen granted a posthumous pardon to Alan Turing, the inventor of the machine carrying the same name. The inventor of the computer was culpable of only one titillating misdeed: he was homosexual.

The rehabilitation of the scientist occurred over half a century after his suicide, which was a consequence of a forced hormone treatment supposed to “heal” him of his homosexuality. Two years earlier, in 2011, a royal pardon had been rejected by the then Justice Minister. The pardon received applies exclusively to Turing; the relevant authorities fear that they may have to revise the many other convictions for indecency from his time.

England should set an example

Wrong never becomes right, not even when an injustice is masked by law. Many biographies were and are being destroyed because they are not in harmony with dominating doctrines. The comparison with the Nuremberg race laws is not too far-fetched; after the lost war, many Nazis wanted to hide behind the idea that their actions were in line with the law and with justice.

Queen Mum is reported to have said that if she had to discharge her homosexual staff members, she would henceforth have to serve herself. What was once talked about in hushed tones and was only perhaps reluctantly tolerated has since lost its spicy character. Precisely at a time when negative treatment towards homosexuals, to put it mildly, is again intensifying – and not only in Russia and Turkey – England should set an example. A signal that it belongs to the Western world and not to the times of Divine Right in which one had to ask the Queen, the Tsar or the Sultan for forgiveness for one’s homosexuality. A rehabilitation of all convicted for indecency would provide that signal.

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