Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing Awarded Posthumous Pardon for Homosexuality Convictions
News| | By Jason Owen
Late playwright Oscar Wilde, and mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, were among more than 50,000 gay men posthumously pardoned for now-abolished sexual offenses on Tuesday.
Wilde, the Irish playwright, author and poet, best known for The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, was convicted of gross indecency with another man in 1895 and was sent to Reading Prison for two years.
His conviction was annulled along with thousands of other gay and bisexual men on Tuesday, when the Turing Law, named after Second World War code-breaker Turing, came into effect. The pardons were officially signed off after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent. In the bill, it gives pardons to those convicted of consensual same-sex relationships before laws were changed.
Sam Gyimah, a representative for Britain’s Ministry of Justice, said in a statement: “This is a truly momentous day. We can never undo the hurt caused, but we have apologized and taken action to right these wrongs.”