…and Baby Makes Three.
Yesterday, I was on the Shannyn Moore Show (1020koan.com) for my weekly segment, Thursdays in the Mud. I’d just come from the press conference held by the One Anchorage campaign which will put basic equal rights for the LGBT community on this spring’s Municipal ballot. It proposes the radical notion that gay and transgendered people should not face legal discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, education and the use of public facilities.
During the show, a perennial homophobic caller decided to voice his opinion about “homo encounter relations” and went on a rant about the unnatural nature of gay marriage, or any kind of non-heterosexual relationships. Shannyn explained that the issues on the ballot had nothing to do with gay marriage, to which he responded, “it’s the same thing.”
Speaking to the “unnatural” argument, I signaled to Shannyn. I wasn’t on the air yet, so I gestured to her, bending my elbows, flapping and mouthing, “What about the penguins?” She remembered a previous conversation we’d had on the subject, and informed the caller that individuals in many species in the animal kingdom, including humans, are gay – penguins being a notable non-human example.
On the break we joked as we wondered how they could really tell the difference anyway, since they were all in tuxedos.
Then this story crossed my radar today. It would likely throw our caller and those who believe as he does into a tailspin. It seems that one of the gay penguin couples – Adam and Steve – at the China Zoo, are raising a baby!
They were once given the cold shoulder at the wildlife park in China for stealing heterosexual couples’ eggs to nest as their own.
But after being allowed to try out with eggs rejected by their mothers the couple have become the zoo’s best penguin parents.
Now keepers at Polarland Zoo in Harbin, north east China, have rewarded their devotion with a wedding day.
One wore a tie and the other was dressed in a red blouse – a traditional Chinese bridal colour – as they stepped into their icy wedding room to the music of the Wedding March.
Keepers then served them their favourite dish for the occasion – spring fish.
“They have been a good couple and deserved their reward,” said one keeper.
This isn’t the first example of excellent parenting skills from gay penguin couples. The Central Park Zoo in New York City has a penguin couple named Roy and Silo who were given a chick (Tango) to raise as their own. A best-selling children’s book was even written about it.
So, here’s to loving couples, equality, and great parents of all stripes.
[Adam and Steve's wedding photos can be found at the second link above]