Campaign Against Moral Persecution

24 September 2020

Campaign Against Moral Persecution

(Community Recognition Statement, 15 September 2020, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

I wish to put on the record the 50th anniversary of the pioneering organisation, the Campaign Against Moral Persecution or CAMP. It is important to remember the brave individuals who 'came out' publicly, exposing themselves to vilification and abuse, losing jobs, homes and families when they publicly admitted their sexuality and spoke up for justice. John Ware and Christabel Poll were identified as homosexual and founding members of CAMP in national newspaper articles on 10 and 19 September 1970. CAMP branches were set up across the country and other courageous people followed, speaking out publicly against injustice and homophobia, and often suffering financially and socially as a result. CAMP became the seeding ground for numerous projects and self-help, like the volunteer homosexual telephone help line Phone-A-Friend established in 1973, the CAMP Centre non-profit coffee shop in Glebe and a base for anti-discrimination and law reform campaigns, including where the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras idea emerged. I thank those early CAMP members and those who have followed them for this vital work that helped achieve the social changes we enjoy today.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!