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PopWrapped | Celebrities

Benedict Cumberbatch Campaigns For Pardon Of Prosecuted Gay Men

Rain Varela | PopWrapped Author

Rain Varela

Updated 03/10/2015 11:31pm
 
Benedict Cumberbatch Courtesy of Huffington Post
After his brilliant turn playing British war hero and code breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch has decided to use what he learned in that role for a real-life cause. Turing, despite his great service to his country, was prosecuted for being gay in the 1950s and was sentenced to chemical castration - a punishment which eventually led to his suicide. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon. Despite all this, Turing was only one of 49,000 gay men who endured such treatment in Britain during the 1950s. It is for these forgotten ones that Benedict Cumberbatch is fighting, according to Digital Spy. Together with British actor-comedian Stephen Fry and other celebrities, Cumberbatch has started campaigning for their official pardon.
Benedict Cumberbatch Campaigns For Pardon Of Prosecuted Gay Men Courtesy of Food for Bookworms
In a letter to the Hollywood Reporter, Cumberbatch had this to say:
"Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do. "Sixty years later, that same government claimed to 'forgive' him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing's actions did not warrant forgiveness - theirs did - and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same." Stephen Fry also gave a moving speech after a screening of The Imitation Game in London on Wednesday. In this speech, he asked the audience:
"Should Alan Turing have been pardoned just because he was a genius, when somewhere between 50 to 70 thousand other men were imprisoned, chemically castrated, had their lives ruined or indeed committed suicide because of the laws under which Turing suffered? There is a general feeling that perhaps if he should be pardoned, then so should all of those men whose names were ruined in their lifetime, but who still have families."

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