GCHQ recruiting gay codebreakers to "stay one step ahead of the adversaries"
GCHQ is advertising for gay codebreakers 64 years after the UK’s most famous codebreaker Alan Turing was hounded to death for his homosexuality.
The intelligence agency listed an advert in this month’s issue Pride Issue of online magazine Fyne Times saying potential recruits would "see things differently."
The service has appealed to gay men and women to join, saying: "Alternative perspectives spark the innovative thinking needed to achieve our mission."
The advert reads: “You see things differently. So we can flourish.
“By recognising the value of individual differences, GCHQ enables everyone to give their best, so that we can stay one step ahead of the adversaries.”
GCHQ is currently ranked 54 in gay-rights charity Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers 2018 and has recently campaigned on behalf of LGBT rights.
But the intelligence service relationship with the LGBT community has a far muddier history.
Openly gay men were barred from joining the security services until 1991.
A ban on joining the Armed Forces remained in place until 2000.
Closely-guarded GCHQ lit up the doughnut in rainbow colours to show it respects diversity on an international day against transphobia, homophobia and transgendaphobia.
And its treatment towards one of the world’s most renowned code-breakers Alan Turing is widely believed to have driven him to his death.
Turing broke the German navy’s Enigma code used by U-boats to send secret messages.
It is said Prime Minister Winston Churchill believed Turing’s work was the single greatest contribution to Allied victory over Nazi Germany.
His groundbreaking work during World War Two was brought to cinemas in the 2014 film The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Turing also pioneered the Automatic Computing Engine – regarded as the first modern computer.
Despite his valiant effort towards the War and code-breaking he was discriminated against because of his sexuality during a time when homosexuality was illegal in Britain.
In 1952 he faced a conviction for gross indecency for having an affair with a 19-year-old homeless man from Manchester.
The conviction saw him chemically castrated.
It also meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work.
While struggling to deal with his conviction as an openly-gay man Turing killed himself in 1954.
He was found dead at his home with a half-eaten apple laced with cyanide.
In 2013, nearly 60 years after his death, Turing received a posthumous royal pardon.
In 2014 then-agency boss Robert Hannigan apologised for the intelligence service’s treatment of Turing dubbing it “horrifying”.
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