The Campaign Against Moral Persecution

CAMP women

In 1970 a rather remarkable thing happened – homosexual people began to speak for themselves, seeking national audiences. The Campaign Against Moral Persecution was formed in Sydney in mid-1970. John Ware and Christabel Poll came out and were interviewed, using their names and allowing themselves to photographed – acts of great courage. Within a year CAMP was a national organisation with some 1500 members and branches in almost all capital cities and on most university campuses. For two years it carried the banner of homosexual politics virtually alone. The subgroups that members set up in Sydney (with similar operations in other states) give an indication of the range of activities and interests — a counselling service, a group directed at the churches, a law reform group, running a Clubroom and dances, general meetings, talking with journalists and editors, reaching out to opinion makers like politicians and clergy, addressing community groups such as Rotary and the Lions Clubs, writing and publishing and distributing the national magazine CAMP Ink and the CAMP NSW newsletter. In October 1971 it organised Australis’s first gay rights demonstration outside the Liberal Party headquarters in Sydney.

Image: CAMP’s first demo. Phillip Potter, AQuA Collection

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