At Eric Beecher’s alethophobic Power Index, the incompetent Matthew Knott continues to produce erroneous articles. In “The 10 people behind Labor's gay marriage shift”, he describes Rodney Croome as the man who “fronted the successful campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania, which until May 1997 was a criminal offense [sic] punishable by up to 25 years in jail.”
Up until May 1997, when §122 (a) and (c) and §123 were repealed, Sections 122 and 123 of the Tasmanian Criminal Code Act were:
122. Unnatural crimes
Any person who –
(a) has sexual intercourse with any person against the order of nature;
(b) has sexual intercourse with an animal; or
(c) consents to a male person having sexual intercourse with him or her against the order of nature –is guilty of a crime.Charge: Unnatural sexual intercourse. [Emphasis added.]123. Indecent practices between malesAny male person who, whether in public or private, commits any indecent assault upon, or other act of gross indecency with, another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with himself or any other male person, is guilty of a crime.Charge: Indecent practice between male persons.
Physical acts—such as proctorychan coition, whether between two men or between two women or even between a man and a woman—were, by the old-fashioned law, illegal; but homosexuality itself was not illegal. Also, according to the Criminal Code, the maximum punishment for any crime was imprisonment for twenty-one years.
UPDATE (5 June, 2012): AAP and The Herald Sun make a similar silly error; see “I almost banned lesbian sex, Bob Brown says”:
The 67-year-old’s final speech to the National Press Club in Canberra today was littered [sic] with anecdotes about his political career, which ends in 10 days.
The story that got the most laughs related to his time campaigning for gay rights as a Tasmanian MP in the mid-1980s.
Senator Brown said he expected the then opposition Labor party to move to get rid of section 122 of the criminal code, which proscribed male homosexuality – but it didn’t.