Although gay, lesbian, and queer theory are related practices, the three terms delineate separate emphases marked by different assumptions about the relationship between gender and sexuality.
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.
Erotic and pornographic works have been written in many cultures since ancient times and recently have flourished with the relaxation of censorship.
Feminist literary theory is a complex, dynamic area of study that draws from a wide range of critical theories.
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
At December's Australia Labor Party Conference, marriage equality will be on the agenda. Despite the opposition of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, members of the Labor Party will push for an endorsement of same-sex marriage.
Although polls indicate that more than 60% of Australians--including a larger majority of Labor Party members--support marriage equality, a conservative minority within the Labor Party are committed to blocking same-sex marriage.
Gillard had been opposed to allowing the question of marriage equality to be discussed during the Conference at all, but under pressure from supporters of same-sex marriage she relented to the extent of expressing support for a "conscience vote" on the question, i.e., to allow Labor Members of Parliament to vote their conscience on a private member's bill to amend the marriage laws to permit same-sex marriage.
However, most observers believe that unless the Labor Party requires its members to vote for marriage equality, the attempt to amend the marriage laws will fail, since the opposition Liberal Party will require its members to vote against marriage equality.
The Australian Labor Party has instituted important reforms since gaining power in the federal elections of 2007. In November 2008, the Australian Parliament passed laws that for the first time recognized same-sex couples in federal law, extending to them the same rights as unmarried heterosexual couples in areas such as taxation, social security and health, aged care and employment, as long as they can prove that they are in a de facto relationship. Nevertheless, Australia does not have a national registered partnership or civil unions, though some Australian states do.
The opposition of Prime Minister Gillard, who became Prime Minister in June 2010, to same-sex marriage has led to a revolt from the left-wing of the Labor Party, and may lead to the loss of support from the small Green Party, which has supported her fragile coalition government.
Meanwhile, GetUp, an independent, grass-roots community advocacy organization has adopted marriage equality as a cause and has been prodding Gillard and the Labor Party to amend the marriage laws.
In an attempt to embarrass Gillard, or at least expose her to the views of some of her constituents, GetUp bid $31,000 to win a charity auction's first prize, which was an intimate dinner with the Prime Minister. The organization announced that three same-sex couples were selected to attend the dinner. However, the Prime Minister has reneged on the promise to hold the dinner in a timely fasion.
In this video, the Australian Broadcasting Company reports on the controversy:
GetUp has also issued an emotional video in favor of same-sex marriage entitled "It's Time."