“I was arrested for being gay before I'd even danced with another man.” - Rodney Croome
In 1988 more than one hundred arrests were made at Salamanca Market, when the Tasmanian Gay Law Reform Group defied a ban on a stall that featured petitions to decriminalise sexual activity between consenting adult males in private. The arrests lit the spark for a campaign to change the Tasmanian law, which was the most draconian in the Western world in terms of its penalty and, by the time of its repeal, the last of its kind in Australia.
From candid interviews with the people who were there, Campion Decent has fashioned a gripping account of Tasmania’s decades-long gay law reform campaign. The Campaign traces the venomous parliamentary debates and public meetings, the individual acts of bravery and humour amidst the hurt, and the dogged march to a landmark United Nations ruling that had far-reaching repercussions in the Federal and Tasmanian Parliaments and the High Court of Australia.
Honest, raw and urgent, The Campaign won Best New Writing at the 2019 Tasmanian Theatre Awards, and chronicles a community’s journey from exclusion to inclusion, from opposition to acceptance, and from hatred to embrace.
Originally commissioned by Tasmanian Theatre Company.
In conjunction with the play, Rodney Croome, Julie McCrossin, Michael Kirby and Anna Brown will share a panel discussion on 19 February to discuss the issues raised in the play, explore contemporary and future battlegrounds in the ongoing fight for equal rights, and share their experiences as activists. Book for the panel discussion here.