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Old 03-02-2005, 02:43 PM   #1
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Gay Penguins Won't Straighten Out

Zoo drops efforts to turn penguins straight
by By Larry Buhl
PlanetOut Network



Outrage from gay and lesbian groups and -- apparently -- the strength of animal amore, have thwarted a German zoo's plans to break up three gay penguin couples. After six male penguins resisted all efforts to mate with, or even relate to, female penguins, keepers at the Bremerhaven Zoo in Bremen, Germany, decided to let them stay gay.


Keepers at the Bremerhaven Zoo in Bremen, Germany, couldn't understand why six endangered Humboldt penguins, part of the zoo's 10-penguin exhibit, failed to produce offspring. Though the birds coupled up, did courting dances, built nests together and appeared to have sex, no babies were created -- although one couple adopted a stone that they protected as if it were an egg. When DNA tests showed that all six were male, zookeepers turned to a form of aversion therapy by coaxing them to mate with females.


But after four female penguins were imported from Sweden earlier this year to distract the males, it was clear the gay penguins would not turn "straight." The male couples were separated and introduced to the females one by one, but they pined for their mates until they were reunited.


German media reported on the plan, causing gay groups from around the world to deluge the zoo with angry e-mail messages and phone calls. The protests, plus the penguins' stubborn fidelity, caused the zoo to pull the plug on their aversion therapy efforts this week.


Responding to criticism, Director Heike Kueck said the zoo did not try to break up the same-sex pairs by force. Rather, administrators wanted to see if the birds were really homosexual or just lacking in opportunities for female companionship. "The relationships of the male couples were apparently too strong," said Kueck.


Attempts to turn gay penguins straight haven't met with much success. New York's Central Park Zoo gave up its plan to break up the six-year relationship of Roy and Silo by pairing them with female penguins. Roy briefly spent time with one female, but they separated early this year. Roy's flirtation with heterosexuality seems to have strained his relationship with Silo, however, since the two no longer spend time together.


Penguins don't have a lock on same-sex love, however. Scientists have found homosexual behavior throughout the animal world, and more so with animals in the wild than with those in captivity. Bonobos, apes closely related to humans, are nearly all bisexual -- and, studies have shown, wildly energetic sexually. Young male dolphin calves frequently form same-sex relationships.


Same-sex animal couplings have sparked debate over the origin of homosexual behavior. Gay rights groups have used gay animal examples to bolster the belief that homosexuality is natural, while conservative religious groups continue to call such couplings "animalistic."


Though she resists using animal behavior to draw conclusions about humans, Marlene Zuk, author of "Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can't Learn About Sex From Animals" (University of California Press, 2002) says that same-sex animal behavior can be used to expand our understanding of sexuality in general.


With bonobos in particular, Zuk explained, "You see expressions outside the period when females are fertile. Suddenly, you are beginning to see that sex is not necessarily about reproduction. Sexuality is a lot broader term than people want to think."


As for the six Bremerhaven penguins, the experiment doesn't seem to have caused a rift in their same-sex relationships. The four Swedish temptresses, meanwhile, are not exactly left out in the cold. The zoo has flown in two new male penguins, "so the ladies don't miss out altogether," Kueck said. He did not, however, indicate how they would solve the lopsided female-male ratio of uncoupled birds.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
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seems to me as if a certain pair of penguins simply didn't pray hard enough to overcome their affliction.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:47 PM   #3
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Quit propagating that gay penguin agenda.
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Old 03-02-2005, 02:58 PM   #4
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Is this offered as an example of advancement of homosexual rights? We're projecting qualities on animals.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Is this offered as an example of advancement of homosexual rights? We're projecting qualities on animals.

what this does is demonstrate that homosexuality is a naturally occuring abnormality in animals as well as humans -- as well as refute simpleton arguments about the only reason for sex is procreation -- and that it isn't a perversion or distortion of nature. it's as natural as red hair or left handedness.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


it's as natural as red hair
At least I was told it was natural.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:07 PM   #7
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Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the figure something like only 5% of people are gay?
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:11 PM   #8
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why is there ketchup on my sleeve
would you think adam fancied eve?
what if eve could not conceive?
and he had to breed with steve...
we'd all be gay
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:12 PM   #9
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Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the figure something like only 5% of people are gay?
Not if the agenda continues to work. They've got Squarepants and penguins on their side now, if they get a few more we're screwed.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

what this does is demonstrate that homosexuality is a naturally occuring abnormality in animals as well as humans -- as well as refute simpleton arguments about the only reason for sex is procreation -- and that it isn't a perversion or distortion of nature. it's as natural as red hair or left handedness.
This might work if you can conclude that the penguins are homosexual as we understand humans to be homosexual.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:31 PM   #11
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how else could they be homosexual??



also, i think gay penguins are no better than the gay whales and discrimination in our treatment to them are unacceptable. we should know better.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the figure something like only 5% of people are gay?

it varies, depending on who you ask, and you'll never get a truly accurate figure for several reasons, among them that surveys don't take into account the fact that gays tend to live in clusters and are not evenly distributed acrosss geography -- in Topeka, only 1% of the male population might identify as gay, but in DC, i'd bet that 20% of the male population would identify as gay. that, and many people are still in the closet and while they might frequent gay clubs, they would never, ever admit to being gay.

that said, i think 5% of the overall population is exclusively homosexual, with bisexuality or simply identifying as "queer" is probably closer to 10%.

also, it's different for men and women -- there are probably 2 exclusively gay men for every exclusively gay woman, but the reverse is probably true when it comes to bisexuality.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


This might work if you can conclude that the penguins are homosexual as we understand humans to be homosexual.

i understand homosexuality as having a constitutive attraction and attachment -- which is to say physical and emotional -- to the same gender.

while i don't think animals are capable of having the emotional attraction, it appears as if the physical attraction does exist outside of humans.

basically, examples like this help dispell egregiously simplistic Freudian explanations of homosexuality that plagued psychology until the 1970s -- i.e., your father was cold and distant and your mother was smothering so you failed to properly gender identify with your same-sex parent.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:48 PM   #14
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Car Crash Leads to
Switched Gears in Man's Sex Drive

A 27 year-old Michigan man was awarded $200,000 after claiming a rear-end auto collision with a truck turned him into a homosexual. The man filed suit against the owners of the truck, alleging that the accident left him unable to carry on a normal sexual relationship with his wife. Furthermore, the man left his wife, moved in with his parents and began frequenting gay bars and perusing homosexual literature. In addition to the $200,000 awarded to the man, the jury also awarded $25,000 to his wife.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:53 PM   #15
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