Rodney Peter Croome AM is an Australian LGBT rights activist and academic. He worked on the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania, was a founder of Australian Marriage Equality, and currently serves as the spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and a spokesperson for Just.Equal.
Croome was the founding president and long-term board member of the Tasmanian LGBT support organisation, 'Working It Out' as well as serving on various other similar organisations and had been in a leading role in the establishing challenging-homophobia education in Tasmanian state schools and in the Tasmanian Police, as well as the instituting of anti-discrimination laws in Tasmania. He also fronted the successful campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania, which until 1 May 1997 was a criminal offence punishable by up to 25 years in jail. That campaign saw Tasmanian activists take their case to the United Nations (Toonen v Australia), the Federal Government and the High Court. In 1997 in the case of Croome v Tasmania, Croome applied to the High Court of Australia for a ruling as to whether the Tasmanian laws were inconsistent with the Federal Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act (1994). The Tasmanian Government repealed the relevant Criminal Code provisions after failing in its attempts to have the matter struck out. In 2009, Croome was named one of the 25 most influential gay Australians by readers of the website samesame.com.au.
Croome called for reviews of blood donors processes, saying the screening process of blood donors did not question heterosexuals on their safe sex practices, but singled out gay and bisexual men as high risk: "It's really time for the Red Cross to change its policy and focus on whether donors have safe or unsafe sex rather than the gender of the person they have sex with."
Croome was one of the first advocates in Australia to raise the issue of same-sex marriage circa 2004, at a time when it wasn't a popular topic of discussion both within the LGBTI community and more broadly. Despite opposition to the idea of marriage equality, Croome would commit the next 13 years of his life fighting for marriage equality for all Australians.
In 2010, Croome co-authored a book presenting the cases for and against marriage equality, entitled WHY vs WHY: Gay Marriage (Pantera Press).
In 2012, Croome became the fifth National Director of Australian Marriage Equality. On 8 May 2013 Croome debated Patrick Langrell on Same Sex Marriage at the University of New South Wales. In September 2013 Rodney Croome wrote to the group Community Action Against Homophobia CAAH expressing his concerns in regards to the radical campaigning methods they use in same-sex marriage campaigns saying, "It is a double standard to demand respect for same-sex relationships without showing the same respect in return". Croome supports Australia's trans and intersex communities in their quest for marriage equality saying, "the marriage equality campaign must be inclusive of all loving committed couples regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status".
In 2015, Croome released his latest book, "From This Day Forward: Marriage Equality in Australia" (Walleah Press).
In 2015, Tasmanian Archbishop Julius Porteous distributed a political booklet titled, "Don't mess with Marriage" that advised parents to lobby MPs against same-sex marriage. Croome encouraged parents to submit complaints to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, stating “I urge everyone who finds it offensive and inappropriate, including teachers, parents and students, to complain to the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks”. The ABC Media Watch program reported that Croome, along with Christine Forster, had been interviewed 32 times on the subject of same-sex marriage, in the first 12 days of August 2015.
Croome has been the editor of the Tasmanian literary journal, 'Island', a research consultant for the Port Arthur Management Authority and the Australian National University-based Freilich Foundation, and an Honorary lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania.
Croome was made the inaugural recipient of the Tasmanian Humanitarian of the Year Award and awarded the Chris Carter Memorial Award for contributions to the gay and lesbian community by the Australian Democrats in 1991. In 1994, he was shortlisted for Australian of the Year. In January 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal for "service and extensive contribution to gay and lesbian law reform" and in June 2003 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "service to the community as a human rights advocate, particularly through promoting tolerance and understanding of the human rights of gay and lesbian people". Croome was named Tasmanian Australian of the Year for 2015, and consequently was a finalist for 2015 Australian of the Year.
- Croome, Rodney; Muehlenberg, Bill (2010). WHY vs WHY: Gay Marriage. Sydney: Pantera Press.
- Croome, Rodney (2015). From This Day Forward: Marriage Equality in Australia. Sydney: Walleah Press.
- "Biography: Rodney Croome". Rodney Croome - gay advocate. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Search Business Names Register". connectonline.asic.gov.au. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "University of Tasmania Alumni: Issue 46, December 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
- "Samsame 25". Samesame. Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
- Gus Bernardi (2001). "From conflict to convergence: the evolution of Tasmanian anti-discrimination law". Australian Journal of Human Rights. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
Once standing was given the Tasmanian PLP Government did not wait for a High Court challenge and passed the Criminal Code Amendment Act 1997 which repealed the anti-gay provisions within the Tasmanian Criminal Code.
- "'Discriminatory' gay blood donor ban challenged". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "WHY vs WHY Gay Marriage Rodney Croome vs Bill Muehlenberg". Pantera Press. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Same-Sex Marriage Discussion with Rodney Croome and Patrick Langrell
- "Letter to protesters: Withdraw this hateful poster now". 15 September 2013. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
- Busby, Cec (21 May 2014). "Advocates work together to ensure inclusive marriage equality bill". Gay News Network. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "From This Day Forward - Marriage Equality in Australia". Walleah Press. Retrieved 10 July 2015..
- "Don't mess with Marriage" (PDF). Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Booklet says Don't Mess With Marriage". Gympie Times. 13 June 2015.
- "Debate heats up over Catholic traditional marriage booklet". outinperth.com. 25 June 2015. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015.
- "Media equality on marriage equality?". ABC News. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Rodney Croome". The Conversation. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
- "CROOME, Rodney - Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "CROOME, Rodney Peter - Member of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- 2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year Recipients Announced