Gay WWII Hero Alan Turing Gets Royal Pardon

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com December 24 2013 12:39 PM ET

British code-breaker Alan Turing, who was instrumental in helping to end World War II, was given a royal pardon Tuesday, almost 60 years after he was chemically castrated and committed suicide.

Turing was a mathematician whose code-breaking algorithms helped pave the way for the modern computer, but most importantly, Turing's algorithms and a machine known as the Bombe helped Allied forces break the German Enigma code, often credited with opening the door to Adolf Hitler's defeat.

"Dr. Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science," British justice secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement Tuesday, according to CNN. "A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."

In 1952, Turing became one of nearly 50,000 men who were sentenced under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. He was chemically castrated and tortured as punishment. In 1954 he was found dead, an apparent suicide.

It was announced earlier this year that the British government would not provide posthumous pardons for the 50,000 men who were sentenced under the law.