Today in LGBT History – September 4

Learning our history IS resistance! Thanks for taking this journey with me. Now go write your story!

Today in LGBT History – September 4

1939, UK – The day after Britain declares war on Germany, Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) registers for the military. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts ofalgorithmandcomputation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.He made a major breakthrough in deciphering the German Enigma code which helped the Allies win WWII. After the war, Turing worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he designed the ACE, among the first designs for a stored-program computer. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman‘s Computing Machine Laboratory at the Victoria University of Manchester, where he helped develop the Manchester computersand became interested in mathematical biology. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis,and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, first observed in the 1960s. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when by the Labouchere Amendment, “gross indecency” was a criminal offence in the UK. He accepted chemical castration treatment, with DES, as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from suicide by cyanide poisoning. In 2009, following anInternet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated.” Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013. The Alan Turing law is now an informal term for a 2017 law in the United Kingdom that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts. Turing’s story is caught in the film The Imitation Game

1957, UK – The Wolfenden report is published in England which recommends “that homosexual behavior between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offense.” It recommends that private consensual sex acts between men aged 21 or older be decriminalized. The Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (better known as the Wolfenden report, after Lord Wolfenden, the chairman of the committee) was published in Britain after a succession of well-known men, including Lord Montagu(October 20, 1926- 2015), Michael Pitt-Rivers(May 27, 1917-1999)and Peter Wildeblood(19 May 1923 – 14 November 1999), were convicted of homosexual offences.

2012 – The Democratic Party becomes the first major U.S. political party in history to publicly support same-sex marriage on a national platform at the Democratic National Convention.

2017, Canada –  Canada has discreetly granted asylum to 31 gay men from Chechnya working with the NGO Rainbow Railroad,  a clandestine program unique in the world. In April, Justin Trudeau and the Canadian  government strongly condemned persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya. Canada is not the only country to accept gay refugees from Chechnya and other countries in the region. France has accepted at least one person, as has Germany, and two are in Lithuania. An undetermined number of individuals have traveled to European Union countries on tourist visas, and then applied for refugee status. So far, the United States has done nothing.

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(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at,, Lavender Effect,, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, Amara Das Wilhelm,, Safe Schools Coalition, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at Thanks!)

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