Wednesday, January 10, 2007

march of the (gay) Penguins

Mills of the gods

A year or so ago there was controversy in the zoo world over the question of some reported homosexual penguins in the Central Park Zoo in New York. Questions had been asked about the pair of penguins at issue for some time. It seemed that their nest was more tastfully decorated than their neighbors and they had displayed an affinity for gourmet food that your average penguin does not show. Plus, people saw the two males having sex together. Now the "queer Penguin" crisis has arisen anew in, of all places, North Carolina.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools banned the book "And Tango makes Three" a childrens picture book that tells the story of two male penguins who paired up and hatched an egg. The news story I read does not describe where the penguins got the egg, nor does it mention that the egg was even a penguin egg, but my guess was that "Tango" was the baby penguin produced from the egg. It turns out that the story is a true one, but that did not prevent one of the County Commissioners of Mecklenburg County from looking into the matter, and a few parents getting nervous. The book was pulled from four elementary school libraries which puts it on the same plane as other famous books which libraries have banned, Huck Finn, Brokeback Mountain, Tropic of Cancer and Lolita. It has been a decade since this districst banned a book, but then again, there probably have not been many gay animal picture books published recently.

As of now, no parent has officially "complained" and so the books are being put back on the shelves.If a parent complains, some type of hearing will be held, and the penguins will be given a chance to come in and defend their life style choice. In the meantime, the North Carolina Legislature has begun debating a State Constitutional amendment, limiting the hatching of penguin eggs and the raising of penguin chicks to penguins of different sexes. This "Defense Of Penguin Act", as it is being called, may well be just a start to an overall ban in North Carolina of any homosexual relationships between any species. this will cause many North Carolina animals to have to move to states with more liberal mating laws, such as Massachusetts.

Many North Carolina parents have now gone back to review the hit movie "Happy Feet" to see if "Mumble", a penguin with an unusual talent for dancing, might be a dangerous introduction for children to the homosexual lifestyle. This backlash at penguin dancing is thought to be having a positive impact on Mumbles chances to receive an Academy Award this year. Several of the more family oriented sponsors of the Academy Awards program have already indicated a fear that should Mumble win, he will kiss his new friend Tango on the beak when accepting the award. All in all, it looks good for the ratings of the show that night.

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