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Friday, February 11, 2005

Gay Penguins have rights, humans should be so enlightened

At the zoo in Bremerhaven, Germany, birthplace of my father (the city, not the zoo), they've been unsuccessful in convincing two bonded male penquins to procreate with females. The penguins clearly and adamantly prefer their same-sex union. So they stopped trying to retrain them, allowing the couple to continue their relationship in peace. Story at Ananova.

This is not the first such incident reported. About a year ago, the N.Y. Times ran a story, Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name, about two male gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo in New York, which is reproduced here.

Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan, are completely devoted to each other. For nearly six years now, they have been inseparable. They exhibit what in penguin parlance is called "ecstatic behavior": that is, they entwine their necks, they vocalize to each other, they have sex. Silo and Roy are, to anthropomorphize a bit, gay penguins. When offered female companionship, they have adamantly refused it. And the females aren't interested in them, either.

At one time, the two seemed so desperate to incubate an egg together that they put a rock in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens, said their chief keeper, Rob Gramzay. Finally, he gave them a fertile egg that needed care to hatch. Things went perfectly. Roy and Silo sat on it for the typical 34 days until a chick, Tango, was born. For the next two and a half months they raised Tango, keeping her warm and feeding her food from their beaks until she could go out into the world on her own.
Homosexuality, conclusively, is a completely natural minority behavior in mammals, including humans. Obviously it's not a disorder that can be cured or pathological sexuality that can be trained. People who think that there is something "immoral" about natural behavior are ignorant, not pious. In these days of rampant conservatism in the U.S., which seeks, among other social and educational atrocities, to further maginalize the gay population, think about these adorable penguins who have no need for secrecy or guilt. They're not punished by their society or even their human keepers.

So, where's the humanity in the "highest order of animal?" Where's the "values" in condemning natural behavior?

// posted by Ellen @  23:47   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.

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