Gay Humanists welcome Richard Dawkins’s support for Alan Turing

  • post Type / Members and partners
  • Date / 19 August 2009

The gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has warmly welcomed
the decision of Richard Dawkins to back the campaign to win an official
apology for Alan Turing, the code-breaking genius and father of the modern
computer who committed suicide in 1954 after being prosecuted for being

More than 2,500 people have now added their name to the on-line petition
calling for the Government to recognise the “consequences of prejudice” that
ended the life of the scientist aged just 41.

Professor Dawkins said that an apology would “send a signal to the world
which needs to be sent”, and that Turing would still be alive today if it
were not for the repressive, religion-influenced laws which drove him to

The author of The God Delusion, who is due to present a forthcoming
television programme for Channel 4 on Turing, said the impact of the
mathematician’s war work could not be overstated. “Turing arguably made a
greater contribution to defeating the Nazis than Eisenhower or Churchill.
Thanks to Turing and his ‘Ultra’ colleagues at Bletchley Park, Allied
generals in the field were consistently, over long periods of the war, privy
to detailed German plans before the German generals had time to implement

“After the war, when Turing’s role was no longer top-secret, he should have
been knighted and fêted as a saviour of his nation. Instead, this gentle,
stammering, eccentric genius was destroyed, for a ‘crime’, committed in
private, which harmed nobody,” he said. Professor Dawkins also called for a
permanent financial endowment to support Bletchley Park, where Turing helped
break the Nazi Enigma code.

The PTT secretary George Broadhead commented: “It is great to have such a
prominent atheist and Humanist as Richard Dawkins add his weight to this

“As a gay atheist himself, Alan Turing is a gay Humanist hero and an
apology for the appalling way he was treated for being gay is long overdue.”

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