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Comment: Leave those penguins alone!

Sun 26 Sep 2004 In: Comment

(Before reading Craig Young's riposte to the fundie view of gay-like penguin behaviour at New York's Central Park zoo you might like to first read the original fundie outburst from the NZ Maxim Institute's favourite researcher... it's been a long winter, we all need a chuckle! -Ed.) Not content with masquerading as a sociologist and child development specialist, United States-based fundamentalist researcher Paul Cameron is now spying on innocent gay penguins. I summoned up all my intestinal fortitude and visited the junk scientist supreme's website, intent on finding out what malignity and mendacity he was intent on perpetrating against us this time. Imagine my shock when I read the latest issue of his Family Research Report (July 2004) and found that he had turned to insulting our LGBT animal and bird counterparts. What, you didn't know he was masquerading as a zoologist as well? No, Cameron was intent on accusing gay penguins of cannibalism, sexual violence, sexual harrassment, drug addiction and involvement in international terrorism. Okay, so I made the last two up, but you get the general idea. Cameron cites Bruce Bagemihl's encyclopedic book, Biological Exuberance. Unlike Cameron, Bagemihl actually has published professionally in the area, and his book is full of citations of peer-reviewed zoological journals that refer to LGBT animal and bird behaviour, mating and parenting practices. Bagemihl argues that pathologising of human homosexuality and lesbianism adversely affected accurate observation of LGBT animals and birds. So, what does Bagemihl have to say about gay male penguins? Humboldt gay male penguins are monogamous and pair off for the rest of their lives, while King Penguins aren't all that good at forming long-term relationships, gay or straight. Apparently, their relationships only last a single season. With Gatoo penguins, straight female penguins get on top sometimes. I would say that it's sad that Cameron has descended to attacking innocent gay male penguins, but it isn't. It's actually quite funny. If I were that avian couple, I'd probably wonder what he was doing on the other side of the barrier, but then, fundamentalists have it in for evolutionary theory, because there's a place for us in terms of adaptive behaviour to overpopulation. I hope they threw fish at him! Preferably canned! Recommended Reading: Bruce Bagemihl, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity: St Martins Press: New York: 1999. Not Recommended At All: [Warning: Do not read this after having ingested food.] Family Research Report (July 2004)- Paul Cameron v Gay Penguins (and Ronald Reagan) Craig Young - 26th September 2004    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Sunday, 26th September 2004 - 12:00pm

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