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Radio Gala

This Radio Gala retrospective programme contains a rich collection of audio actuality from the 1985-86 period of homosexual law reform. Much of the material came from events in the Wellington region and was originally broadcast on Wellington Access Radio.

Radio Gala was a community radio programme that broadcast weekly on Auckland's community radio station in the 1990s.

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  • 0:00:15 - Introduction
  • 0:01:41 - Auckland Community Church advert
  • 0:02:25 - "As gays we have to create our own lives..."
  • 0:03:10 - Bigot Busters song (1985)
  • 0:08:15 - MP Norman Jones: I am a perfectly normal person
  • 0:08:30 - Front page of a young girl given a petition
  • 0:08:45 - Protest at the Salvation Army Citadel (31 March 1985, Wellington)
  • 0:09:13 - Neil Costelloe: now they're assaulting our reporters (31 March 1985, Wellington)
  • 0:09:20 - "Door-to-door collection pays for door-to-door petition"
  • 0:09:27 - Neil Costelloe
  • 0:09:52 - "Yes Jesus was gay"
  • 0:10:15 - Bill Logan [possibly meeting 1 April 1985, Lower Hutt]
  • 0:10:28 - MP Norman Jones [possibly meeting 1 April 1985, Lower Hutt]
  • 0:11:13 - Sir Peter Tait: I met this young man.. [possibly meeting 15 April 1985, Wellington Town Hall]
  • 0:12:30 - MP Norman Jones: back into the sewers [possibly meeting 15 April 1985, Wellington Town Hall]
  • 0:13:45 - "We’re fighting for our rights..."
  • 0:14:05 - Tighe Instone: we demand our rights as citizens of New Zealand
  • 0:15:50 - "We’re here because we're queer"
  • 0:16:15 - "Normal" Jones (Bigot Busters rally, 21 May 1985, Wellington Town Hall)
  • 0:16:46 - Alison Laurie: visibility (Bigot Busters rally, 21 May 1985, Wellington Town Hall)
  • 0:17:36 - Chants (Lesbian and Gay rights march, 24 May 1985, Wellington)
  • 0:18:08 - "We demand equality" (Lesbian and Gay rights march, 24 May 1985, Wellington)
  • 0:18:42 - MP Norman Jones in Parliament: a mecca for homosexuals
  • 0:19:12 - The establishment of a moral minority
  • 0:20:04 - Chant: age of consent - 16 (march in support of the Bill, 13 September 1985, Wellington)
  • 0:20:10 - Street preacher in Wellington: worse day in New Zealand
  • 0:20:20 - Chant: Get up stand up
  • 0:20:30 - Glenda Gale: we have had enough (march in support of the Bill, 13 September 1985, Wellington)
  • 0:21:25 - Send up of the Salvation Army
  • 0:23:00 - Linda Evans and co: Lesbian and Gay rights march and the Salvation Army
  • 0:24:00 - "If you've ripped up a petition clap your hands" .. "feed them to the lions"
  • 0:24:30 - "We are proud to be called Bible bangers .. but we are not bigots"
  • 0:24:40 - [Possibly Fran Wilde] as the anti-law reform petition is presented on the steps of Parliament (24 September 1985)
  • 0:26:28 - [unidentified person] - public discussion was the main achievement in 1985
  • 0:28:00 - MP Fran Wilde - being asked to sign the petition
  • 0:29:00 - "Happy birthday sweet 16" song
  • 0:29:50 - Third reading vote in Parliament (9 July 1986)
  • 0:30:40 - News report on the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill (10 July 1986)
  • 0:32:30 - MP George Gair in Parliament: votes in favour of the Bill (9 July 1986)
  • 0:33:15 - MP John Banks in Parliament: responding to George Gair (9 July 1986)
  • 0:34:20 - MP Fran Wilde reflecting on the passing of the Bill (9 July 1986)
  • 0:35:50 - MP Graeme Lee: the people of this country will make sure this Bill is defeated (9 July 1986)
  • 0:36:40 - Major Rodney Knight, Salvation Army response: we respect the democratic system
  • 0:37:20 - Kate Leslie, New Zealand AIDS Foundation
  • 0:38:05 - Bill Logan, Gay Task Force
  • 0:41:11 - Gay Lesbian welfare telephone advert
  • 0:42:00 - Icebreakers advert
  • 0:43:00 - Gay history today
  • 0:46:30 - Disabled and gay - Gay Lesbian Welfare advert
  • 0:47:40 - Free pass to Westside Sauna
  • 0:48:20 - "The Right Time" by Judy Glenn - the proceeds of the song went to support the Homosexual Law Reform Bill
  • 0:53:00 - What's on in Auckland
  • 0:57:30 - On next week's programme

This recording (cassette 0323-A) includes audio from multiple sources - for more details visit the LAGANZ website.


The "Radio Gala (8th July 1990)" recording captures a pivotal moment in New Zealand's history, focusing on the impact of the Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986. The retrospective program, originating from the Wellington region and showcased on Wellington Access Radio, vividly encapsulates the socio-political landscape from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, especially how individuals in the Wellington area reacted to homosexual law reform issues. The program features a blend of archival audio and live commentary, offering listeners an auditory snapshot of societal attitudes, protest actions, and political discourse during this transformative period.

The broadcast begins by emphasizing the significance of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, which legalized consensual acts between adults and represented a broader cultural shift towards accepting people from the LGBTQ+ community. It gave gay and lesbian individuals the legal background to live without fear and guilt, promising normalcy in their daily lives. Alongside this serious subject matter, the program also provides information on local gay and lesbian community events.

The speaker shares a poignant piece from a prominent magazine, reflecting on the unique challenges and triumphs faced by the gay community, highlighting their compassion, humor, and individual uniqueness. This is followed by the creative political activism of the time, such as adapting popular songs like "Ghostbusters" to "Bigot Busters," to advocate for the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. These musical parodies provided a means of protest and solidarity for the community.

Actualities from protests, marches, and confrontational meetings underscore the prevailing tensions. One segment recalls a controversial incident at a Salvation Army Citadel where journalists faced aggression, delineating the clashes between different societal factions. Throughout the recording, various voices express their opinions and perspectives, ranging from supportive parliamentarians to ardent opposers who viewed the bill as promoting 'abnormal' behavior. The passionate and, at times, polarizing dialogue captured in this recording testifies to the charged atmosphere surrounding the law reform.

The recording also includes comments from activists who expose the ignorance behind opposition campaigns and reiterate the demand for equal rights and respect for the gay community. It paints a picture of a resilient group fighting for recognition, not just in the eyes of the law but within broader society.

In summarizing the aftermath of the reform, the program delves into the feelings of relief and victory in passing the bill despite the absence of anti-discrimination clauses. The legalization represented significant progress, offering the potential for a more inclusive future. It also documented the reaction of the Salvation Army and AIDS Foundation to the decision, illustrating their respective positions on the issue.

The program concludes with announcements of social events and services available to the LGBTQ+ community, such as support networks for young gay or bisexual men, social groups, and an upcoming lesbian ball, signifying the continued cultivation of a supportive and visible community post-reform.

The audio recording not only functions as a historical document but also as an advocate for continued progress towards understanding, inclusion, and equality for gay and lesbian individuals within New Zealand society. It encourages the community to unify in the face of adversity and to maintain visibility to strengthen communal ties, echoing a universal call for dignity and human rights for all.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

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Record date:8th July 1990
Audio courtesy of:Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ)
Location:Aotearoa New Zealand, Oceania
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