Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Gay Agenda

One of the adverse effects of my Alan Turing Petition is that some commentators see it as part of a 'gay agenda'. Here's a comment from someone:

This is sad. Turing is being used by sectors of the UK gay lobby as a political wedge to bash an already-weak Labour government. Despite the good intentions, we all know that the newsbite would be "Brown apologises to gay war hero". That is wrong on so many levels.

I've seen other similar quotes implying that what's behind the petition is a 'gay agenda' or some local government trying to be PC. All there is behind this 'campaign' (that's the newspapers word, not mine) is one person: me.

Last night while talking on BBC Radio Manchester the interviewer asked me a question about why Alan Turing isn't better known in the gay community. It was then that I had to admit (since I wasn't planning to talk about sexuality) that I'm not gay.

That probably comes as a shock to some people who don't understand that my petition isn't motivated by a hidden agenda. I think Alan Turing's treatment was appalling. I think we lost a great, great man when he died at 41 who had much more to contribute and I think that Britain has not adequately recognized this great man, or the manner of his decline. If he hadn't died so young we probably would have knighted him and celebrated his genius.

I do not expect that the British Government will apologize. They are damned if they do because they'll really need to apologize to all the other men prosecuted for gross indecency and then there's probably a list of other nasty things in the past that people could ask for an apology for.

But if they do want to honour Alan Turing (and others who were prosecuted), then I suggest that they fund Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing in his and their honour.


Bob Jonkman said...

Have you contacted Andrew Hodges, Turing's biographer? I think he may be able to provide some perspective on "The Gay Agenda", if such a thing actually exists.

The biography, Alan Turing: the Enigma, doesn't shy away from documenting Turing's homosexuality, but it isn't a manifesto for The Gay Agenda either. However, I believe Hodges is active in the gay community.


The Alan Turing Web site

Manni said...

Wow. When I read that I honestly have to wonder whether Britain is ready to apologize. Even if this were some kind of gay agenda, how would that in any way compromise your petition? And what has your sexuality got to do with what happened to Mr. Turing?

Says the German that is pretty happy that Turing cracked that code.

Richard said...

I find it very sad that we can be so sure that the government will not apologise, though I agree with you that it's highly unlikely. It reminds me of a scene in Yes, Minister:

Sir Humphrey: You might create a dangerous precedent.

Jim Hacker: You mean that if we do the right thing this time, we might have to do the right thing again next time?

migratingfishswim said...

When something's wrong, it's wrong. I just don't understand people who think it doesn't matter if the person it was done to is another gender, a different sexuality, from the other side of the world, of a different religion/none, etc.

William said...

Thank you very much for raising awareness of this issue - and even though your sexuality should not play a part, be rest assured that whilst your campaign may be of no comfort to Mr. Graham-Cumming today, that fact that a respected, heterosexual scientist would put his name to this campaign is greatly appreciated by at least one gay man of today ;)

Kevin Handy said...

I had hoped that this Gay Agenda crud would be limited to my whacko neighbors here in the states. The British are such a historic, intelligent and cultured people. I'm a bit surprised, honestly and saddened. I had hoped that we could learn from you what civilized society was all about. Instead I find that the lunatic fringe is lose everywhere ready to bash people who in some cases can't defend themselves. We have to set an example for our young people. Seems to this Yank that Alan Turing was a scientist who did a great thing, happened to prefer men, was castigated (and castrated) for it by his government and that was just wrong. Its a bit like the situation with Ronald Reagan - he didn't know about the 'gay plague', professed to not know any gay people - meanwhile - his decorator, an ex-actor, William Haines, a OUT gay man could decorate his home - but Ronnie had no earthly idea AIDS existed? Alan Turing's death was OK? Come on now. Seems to me that Gordon Brown and his Labour Party needs to step up to the plate and take this bull by the horns. Bletchley needs more funding because it won our countries the war, honestly a permanent exhibit needs to be added in every major country to honor those of us who are 'different' to acknowledge that we're human, we're men and women first, but yes, thank you very much, we had some extra genes that made us gay - and more creative, and more intelligent, and more witty, and more interesting. To ignore that a man was chemically castrated because of his sexuality is just wrong. The state essentially executed Alan Turing - for what? Being bloody national hero? I'd expect this stuff from the whackos in Texas where I live (I'm not from here incidentally). Be British, step up to the plate, be pragmatic, be heroic, be the Royal Family and PM Churchill as the damned bombs were falling on London. God what happened to us all? We're Brits, we're Yanks, we won wars, surely we can fight off some big bad bigots, can't we?

morris108 said...

Is the Gay Agenda a NeoCon one?