A petition that calls for 49,000 gay individuals, who were prosecuted in the U.K. for indecency, to be pardoned has now reached almost half a million signatures, which puts even more pressure on the government to grant this request.

Alan Turing
Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in 'The Intimidation Game'

Around 15,000 of those men convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British "gross indecency" law, when homosexuality was illegal, are still alive, and a Change.org petition demanding for these convictions to be overturned now has over 500,000 supporters.

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Among the signatories of an open letter published is the Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who recently portrayed the WWII code-breaker Alan Turing in the film 'The Intimidation Game.'

Turing, who played a crucial part towards the British war efforts in defeating Nazi Germany after breaking the Enigma code, was convicted in 1952 for gross indecency with another 19-year-old man. As a result of his conviction, the war hero was chemically castrated, and two years later he committed suicide from cyanide poisoning.

"The UK's homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable," read the open letter, which also asks for the support of the royal family. "We call upon Her Majesty's government to begin a discussion about the possibility of pardoning all the men, alive or deceased, who like Alan Turing were convicted."

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Turing was given an official posthumous royal pardon in 2013, but campaigners still want all men convicted under the same outdated law to receive pardons from the government.