Stephen Fry urges everyone to sign new petition to pardon 49,000 men prosecuted in the UK for being gay

Paul Gustafson February 11, 2015

Stephen Fry is helping step up the campaign to pardon all those prosecuted under British Law for being gay by urging everyone to sign an online petition.

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry

ALONG with Benedict Cumberbatch, Mr Fry was recently among the signatories of an open letter calling on the government to pardon all 49,000 men historically prosecuted for homosexuality, including around 15,000 who are still living.

Cumberbatch recently played World War II codebreaker Alan Turing in the Oscar nominated film The Imitation Game. Turing was a national hero but in 1952 was convicted of “gross indecency”. He underwent chemical castration, and tragically killed himself in 1954.

In 2013 Turing was officially pardoned by the British Government, but a current, high-profile campaign is asking for those who were similarly prosecuted to be unconditionally pardoned.

Urging people to sign the new petition, Stephen Fry writes: “Turing was not the only man convicted for being gay under the laws of “gross indecency”. These were pernicious, cruel laws that fortunately don’t exist now but whose shadow still looms over too many”. 

“More than 49,000 men were convicted under these and similar laws. Their lives were destroyed. They suffered humiliation, violence and total estrangement from their families which in some cases also led to suicide. That is why I’m lending my support to calls for Her Majesty’s Government to pardon all the men, alive or deceased, who, like Alan Turing, were convicted under ‘anti-gay’ laws.”

To sign the petition, click here: