It's been a busy month for popular British presenter and actor, Stephen Fry.
He officially married his partner, comedian Elliot Spencer, less than two weeks after revealing the couple planned to wed. The 57-year-old-actor and presenter posted a picture on Twitter of him and Spencer, 27, signing their marriage certifcate in a registry office in Dereham, Norfolk. The caption read: “Gosh. @ElliotGSpencer and I go into a room as two people, sign a book and leave as one. Amazing.”
In the photograph, Fry and Spencer wore matching green carnations, a reference to the habit of supporters of the writer Oscar Wilde who was imprisoned for gross indecency due to an affair with the son of the Marquis of Queensberry in 1895. Fry played Oscar in the movie based on the writer's life.
Just a few days later, Fry went on the offensive about the iniquitous section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. Eventually overturned in 1967, the act saw at least 50,000 British men convicted of homosexual acts, persecuted, imprisoned or chemically castrated. Fry and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will campaign for pardons for those convicted.
The issue has been highlighted since the release of The Imitation Game, the biopic of war-time code-breaker Alan Turing. Prosecuted under the old law in 1952, he committed suicide two years later. The Oscar-nominated film is produced by Weinstein and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing. He was pardoned by the government in 2009 but many thousands more have not received the same treatment.
"Should Alan Turing have been pardoned just because he was a genius," Fry asked, "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 perhaps so should all of those men, whose names were ruined in their lifetime, but who still have families." He continued, "It was a nasty, malicious and horrific law and one that allowed so much blackmail and so much misery and so much distress. Turing stands as a figure symbolic to his own age in the way that Oscar Wilde was, who suffered under a more but similar one."
Lustralboy commented: We wholly endorse Stephen Fry's campaign. With equality for gays now enshrined in law, what possible case can there be for allowing the shadow of those prosecutions to linger over the names of so many unjustly treated gay men?
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