The head of Britain’s digital espionage agency, GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan has apologized for the organization’s historic prejudice against homosexuals, that the agency’s ban on homosexuals had caused long-lasting psychological damage to many and were excluded from working there saying it failed to learn from the treatment of World War II codebreaker Alan Turing.
“The fact that it was common practice for decades reflected the intolerance of the times and the pressures of the Cold War, but it does not make it any less wrong and we should apologize for it,” Hannigan said. At GCHQ, Turing is now seen as a genius— “a problem-solver who was not afraid to think differently and radically,”
Homosexuals were not only discriminated in the agency’s past but were also fired from their jobs if found out and forced to go into “treatment” because of the belief that homosexuals were more easily corruptible and could be blackmailed because of their sexuality into giving up secrets or being turned to work for the other side.
Now more than five decades later in January of 2016 Britain’s MI5 spy agency was named that country’s best employer for promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender diversity.