No, London Zoo, your penguins are not ‘gay’

The Evening Standard reports that London Zoo is holding a Pride weekend to celebrate that it has several ‘gay’ Humboldt penguin couples.

The celebrations feature a banner with the slogan, ‘Some penguins are gay, get over it,’ based on the Stonewall campaign from a few years back.

But are these penguins really ‘gay’?

Certainly many penguins partner with the same sex and sometimes raise chicks together. Indeed, many if not most animal species have been observed displaying some kind of homosexual behaviour (along with almost every other sexual behaviour you could imagine).

But none or almost none are ‘gay’ in the modern sense of having a settled and innate attraction only to members of the same sex. As the Telegraph reported in 2010, all the male penguins studied partnered with a female eventually, they did not stick with other males forever.

In other words, homosexuality in animals is evidence of the fluidity of sexual preferences and flexibility of sexual behaviours, not the existence of the innate and fixed sexual orientation of modern progressive folklore. Not that humans should take their ethics from the animal kingdom in any case!

Perhaps for their next initiative London Zoo could be encouraged to run a banner: ‘Some penguins are ex-gay, get over it.’ I can’t see that happening somehow, though, can you?

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