22 Feb 2015

Alan Turing’s family back petition for 49,000 gay men

The great-niece of Alan Turing, Rachel Barnes, who is supporting a petition calling for all men persecuted for their sexuality to be pardoned, says she is proud so many people now know his story.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of Turing in The Imitation Game has brought the scientist’s story to a wider audience.

Despite the film not being about his sexuality – it has raised awareness of the thousands of men who were persecuted like him for their homosexuality.

‘Royal pardon’

Code-breaker Turing was given a posthumous royal pardon in 2013 for his 1952 conviction for homosexuality.

Ms Barnes, who will visit Downing Street on Monday to hand in the petition, told Channel 4 News: “It is so unfair and so unjust that the other 49,000 of men have been forgotten.”