On October 21 Parliament debated a private member’s bill known by some as Turing’s Law.
It relates to the wartime hero Alan Turing,who was convicted of a sex offence no longer illegal, and considered by many to have been an unjust law in the first place.
This bill was shamefully “talked out” by the minister winding up the debate, thus depriving it of a second reading and effectively killing the bill. Many MPs on all sides have since condemned the government for this action and are fighting to have the bill reintroduced.
Why does this matter?
In common with thousands of other gay men in the 1950s and later, Alan Turing was convicted of what is now regarded as a victimless “crime” which sullied his life, leading to his suicide, as well as that of many others and their families.
This bill, should it have become law, would have exonerated all those so cruelly treated. In effect, it would have pardoned them, as Turing himself was in 2013.
Many of these men are now dead but many still live with the shame and guilt of a criminal record.
Many will be in the North East and some even living in Hartlepool.
So I am asking people to support this attempt at giving due justice, wherever it is possible for them to do so.
“Let right be done” is an ancient precept in English law.
It’s hard to think of a more deserving application of it.