It may come as a surprise to some that, in itself, being homosexual has never been illegal in Britain. But, for hundreds of years, homosexual acts between consenting males were regarded as criminal offences. Thousands of men of all ages were prosecuted, sent to prison – or worse. One of these was Alan Turing, whose brilliant work on artificial intelligence was pivotal to the success of the Bletchley Park code breakers in World War Two. In 1952, Turing was convicted of gross indecency and, in order to escape imprisonment, agreed to undergo chemical castration. But while Turing's ordeal is difficult to imagine now, does pardoning him - and others convicted under such laws - do any good?
When Turing received his Royal Pardon, there was much celebration.