Queen Elizabeth is currently getting a lot of negative press for inviting President Donald Trump to England for a state visit, but Her Majesty may partially redeem herself in the eyes of her people after officially giving Royal Assent or “approval” to a new pro-LGBTQ motion by the U.K. Parliament informally called the Alan Turing Law.
Officially called the “Policing and Crime Act 2017,” the Turing Law is named for a father of modern computer science, Alan Turing, and Queen Elizabeth wholeheartedly gave her assent.
Alan Turing was a World War II code breaker hero, and yet he was convicted because he was homosexual, and it is not the first time Queen Elizabeth has pardoned him.
Like many of her U.K. subjects, Queen Elizabeth is educated about Alan Turing’s history because he is also famous due to his important role in the evolution of computers.
Around the time Queen Elizabeth was crowned after her father died, according to biographer Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing was put on trial in 1952 for homosexuality.
During the trial, Alan Turing stated he did not think homosexuality was wrong.
Instead of going to prison for being homosexual, Alan Turing was subjected to “injections of estrogen intended to neutralize his libido” — a process known today as “chemical castration.”
Alan Turing later committed suicide after being subjected to this form of medical torture in 1954.
The new law approved by Queen Elizabeth focuses on giving a posthumous pardon to thousands of gay men throughout history, like Alan Turing, that were wrongfully convicted or given citations for homosexual sex acts.
Interestingly, the Turing Law was introduced after Queen Elizabeth pardoned Alan Turing in 2013, according to BBC.
The Guardian reported on January 31 that organizers of Stonewall applauded Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Assent, and stated that it was a “clear and powerful apology to every gay and bi man who had been unjustly criminalized for being who they are.”
This approval from Queen Elizabeth is an update from October 2016 when the Turing Law was introduced to include more than Alan Turing and instead be extended to any gay man — living or deceased.
It is estimated that Queen Elizabeth is pardoning up to 100,000 men that committed homosexual so-called “offenses” between 1885 and 2003.
Regardless, it was also noted that the Turing Law does not cover pardoning all LGBTQ offenses in police records. For example, it does not clear men hiring prostitutes for homosexual encounters.
There were also a number of lesbians convicted for kissing under the Public Order Act 1986 that have not received notice from Queen Elizabeth about a pardon. Other laws that have convicted members of the LGBTQ community in the U.K. include the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860.
While it may appear that Queen Elizabeth has more work to do as far as giving Royal Assent to other laws still on the books that discriminate against the LGBTQ community, Queen Elizabeth has been extremely active in the past five decades with making these important changes.
For example, Advocate reported in 2016 that Queen Elizabeth was outraged to hear rumors that she opposed marriage equality. In fact, when a British gay and lesbian marriage law was introduced in 2013, Queen Elizabeth gave her assent with no delay.
Pink News also gives Queen Elizabeth a good LGBTQ report and stated that she has given Royal Assent to over 14 laws protecting gay rights besides the Turing Law and the gay marriage law.
Queen Elizabeth gave her first sign of being an LGBTQ ally in 1967. At that time, homosexuality was partially decriminalized in England and Wales.
Queen Elizabeth also made headlines when she gave her approval to her Royal Navy and Army to officially accept people that were openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual to serve in the armed forces starting in 2000.
As the head of the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth also approved in 2011 for civil partnerships to be allowed in religious venues in Wales and England.
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