C is for:

Camp Apparently the word camp comes from the slang French term camper, which means to pose in an exaggerated fashion. Indeed when it comes to gays, camp denotes someone or something that is over-the-top, or a man who is perceived to be overly effeminate.

In the last hundred years or so the wider community stereotyped all gay men as being camp. They thought gays were flappy-wristed sissies, who referred to each other as her or she and screamed dahhhling when greeting one another.

And some gay men lived up to the hype, whether they were born that way, were conditioned by society or did it for fun. Some say the death of camp occurred in the 1990s, when the Western world started becoming more accepting of gays and lesbians.

The line between the queer community and the rest of the world blurred, making it difficult to tell the straight guys from the gay boys.

But we’re happy to report there are breakaway cells of camp still alive and well around Darlinghurst, particularly in the offices of Sydney Star Observer when Liza is mentioned.

Civil unions What do Iceland (1996), Switzerland (2005), New Zealand (2005), Slovenia (2005), the UK (2005), Denmark (1989) and the Czech Republic (2006) all have in common? They are among the growing number of jurisdictions around the world to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.

With a varying degree of rights afforded, some of these unions are closer to a marriage-like relationship than others. Countries like Portugal, Hungary and Croatia prefer the term domestic partnership, according to the Wikipedia.

Other countries, of course, are bypassing the term civil union altogether and going straight to giving the gays who want it marriage.

Not in Australia, though, where recent efforts by the ACT government to grant Territorians some extra state-based rights under a civil union scheme were scuttled by the federal government.

It was, attorney-general Phillip Ruddock suggested, just gay marriage under another name.

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