Monday, March 27, 2006
Let's Just Have a Big Book Burning And Get It All Over With
During the late 1990's, in the New York Central Park Zoo, two male penguins who were a "little bit different"--meaning they built a nest and tried to hatch a rock together--were given an abandoned egg to nurture.
Adoption isn't an unusual occurrence in the animal world, and male penguins incubating eggs and taking care of offspring certainly isn't a strange phenomenon either.
Adelie penguin pairs take turns incubating, and take turns feeding and guarding for predators. Gentoo and Pinstrap penguins have similar breeding habits.
The male Emperor Penguin, on the other hand, takes over all incubating duties and warms the single egg between his feet and his belly for around 2 months. Now THAT'S a daddy!
Authors Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson wrote a book about the New York city penguin adoption called And Tango Makes Three.
Predictably, two libraries (both in
Missouri) pulled the book from the children's section and put it in the "non-fiction" section, because some parents were "concerned" that the book "has homosexual undertones" and as an obvious correlation, promotes "homosexual adoption".
Before I go on, I need to put something out here first and foremost.
In my opinion, there is so much soul-eating malignant hate in this world---cultural, racial, religious, etc---that I sure as hell don't have the time or inclination to get my panties in a twist over who people love.
It's my belief, and the belief of many, that we are all God's children, and He has plans for each and every one of us.
That said--the uber-religious-right believes that homosexuality is a human choice, and not a biological trait some are born with or something that God planned.
So I wonder...if that's true, why worry about gay penguins? If homosexuality is a conscious choice, do we really believe that same-sex animals are checking each other out and saying "hmmm...I want to get me some of this!"?
Why not reasonably surmise that this instinctual nesting and adoption behavior in penguins is hard-wired into them for the survival of their species?
Ok, yes, once when I was a kid, we had an aggressive Lhasa Apso that we thought was gay, because he tried to hump every dog he came in contact with and once climbed up and humped my brother's head while he was taking a nap on the couch. We later learned that it was an alpha dog thing, kind of a dog version of a Napoleon Complex. The goal wasn't sex, it was domination.
This whole mess also makes me wonder how many of these "concerned" parents park their kids in front of Sesame Street each day.
I mean seriously. Bert and Ernie are 3 years shy of their 40th anniversary together--
which is longer than most marriages have lasted nowadays.
Anyone who hasn't considered that maybe the Rubber Duckie has "two daddies" needs to pull their head out of their butts.
As far as the worry about "gay adoption" goes, as an adoptee, these are my sincere thoughts:
According to the Evan B.Donaldson Institute, which is widely considered to be the leader in adoption statistics and information, in 1999 (the latest year stats were available), there were about 127,000 kids in the foster system free for adoption.
In some states, like Florida, they don't care if gays are foster parents, but God Forbid! they should be allowed to adopt the kids they are raising.
The uber-religious-right talks a good talk. I even grant that they are sincere in their beliefs.
But if they are so intent on banning gays from adopting (ala the recent Catholic Charities decision to end their adoption services rather than place a child who has special needs in a loving home with parents who might be--gasp--queer!), then they better be willing to open their homes and provide loving and safe "forever families" for every single one of those available kids who are languishing in foster care.
Because it's all about the children. Right?
Why am I not convinced?