Saturday, 31 July 2010
However, the BBC says a different couple got in first, just an hour earlier, in a northern town. Who cares? There will be many, many more.Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNN) -- Two men who have been together for 34 years have become the first couple to obtain a same-sex marriage since it became legal in Argentina on July 15. Artistic representative Alejandro Vanelli and actor Ernesto Larrese were married in a civil ceremony Friday morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital. They wore dark suits and striped blue ties and were surrounded by well-wishers and a throng of reporters, photographers and videographers. Larrese spoke to his partner -- but also to the nation at large. "To all those who are afraid ... those who are homophobic ... I tell them, don't worry; this doesn't affect you," Larrese said. "You have nothing to fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Any phobia can be cured with love. There is nothing love cannot cure.
An architect and a retired office administrator have become the first gay couple to marry in Argentina under a new law legalising same-sex marriages. Miguel Angel Calefato, 65, and Jose Luis Navarro, 54, have lived together for 27 years. Argentina is the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex marriage. The law was passed after a long and often bitter campaign and it still faces opposition, most notably from the Roman Catholic Church. After the early-morning ceremony in the northern town of Frias, Mr Calefato and Mr Navarro promised to hold a big party to thank all who had supported the passage of the law.
Thursday, 29 July 2010
"We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls," says Gartrell. "I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn't something I anticipated."
This was emphatically not because their lives were in any way easier than others: over 40% of them had experienced teasing or other difficulties from their peers on account of their family backgrounds, and in the early years they expressed higher than normal levels of stress. As they grew older, however, they learned to overcome this, and by later adolescence, their stress levels were pretty standard for the age group.
This is based on a new analysis, published today in Pediatrics, of data from the the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), begun in 1986. This looked at families with two moms who had deliberately chosen to raise families by artificial insemination. The families were interviewed at discreet intervals over a twenty year period, giving an insight into how well the children were developing across a range of social and physical development indicators, and compared with national norms.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Hello all. This is Robynn, Terence's daughter, responding to his invitation to comment for myself on the terrible, terrible hardship I suffered growing up with a gay father. Wait, that's not quite right...
I feel a little out of place writing here, as I am not Catholic; indeed, not a believer at all. Normally I am happy to stick to what I know and keep my opinions on Church policies to myself, but then, the Church doesn't seem to follow the same principle, insisting as it does on telling us all that gay couples make terrible parents. Not only do the bishops not have any special knowledge on the subject, they seem to be denying what evidence and experience is in fact out there. And they're certainly not keeping their
prejudices opinions to themselves.
I can of course only speak from my own experience, and from common sense. I was not adopted; my parents divorced when I was around 7 years old and, like most children after divorce, I was raised mainly by my mother. However, I spent a lot of time (including one full year as a teenager) with my father and his then partner, Bruce, with whom he shared an 18-year relationship. I consider myself entirely unscarred by the experience. In fact, to confirm Dad's report, I do feel that I was privileged to be part of this unusual family.
It's hard to explain why, without sounding terribly patronising - not my intention. But in high school, particularly, I was very aware of having a different perspective to my peers. I enjoyed this and I believe it was very valuable in forming my worldview, a view perhaps less limited than that of many suburban kids. My family was unusual, but stable, and very supportive. Gay parents: I recommend them.
Of course not every couple will be stable; not every couple will make supportive, loving parents. That's terribly unfortunate, isn't it? If only there were some way to screen for the suitability of prospective parents... if only couples wishing to adopt had to undergo some sort of screening, be interviewed by social workers for instance, convince the authorities of their commitment to and suitability for raising children... OH WAIT A MINUTE.
Really it's ridiculous. Anybody at all can have a baby (I should know, I just did). But not anybody can adopt. A gay couple who want to raise a family will certainly have to work hard to get those kids; it won't be undertaken lightly and no one will simply hand a baby over, no questions asked. That's the case for adoption by straight couples, and I expect that, fairly or not, the authorities will look even more closely at gay would-be parents. So common sense tells me, as strongly as my own experience, that the bishops are... well... not firing on all cylinders here. What on earth are they afraid of? I really can't understand.
Monday, 26 July 2010
One female facing another clings with arms and legs to a partner that, standing on both hands and feet, lifts her off the ground. The two females then rub their genital swellings laterally together, emitting grins and squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences.
This looks though, like a temporary delay. The reason given was that the suit must first make its way through the lower courts. Even so, the decision was close - a 3-3 split. Equality could still come to New Jersey. (Marriage opponents probably have more reason to be disappointed than equality supporters do over this decision: they were hoping for a total rejection:
Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, which supports the traditional view of marriage as between one man and one woman, said, “We were hoping the Supreme Court would just reject the application outright.”
TRENTON, N.J. -- The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to hear a case from six same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, saying the case needs to wind its way through the lower courts first.
Gay couples unsuccessfully sued New Jersey four years ago for the right to marry. They claim that by creating civil unions, the state has not fulfilled a court order to treat them the same as heterosexual couples seeking to marry.
The Supreme Court said Monday that it cannot consider whether the civil union law provides equal rights to gay couples until there is a trial record.
The justices were split 3-3, one vote shy of the four needed for the motion to be granted.
“We need to out-evangelize the evangelists!”
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
“Because employees involved in same-sex partnerships do not have the same right to marry as their heterosexual counterparts, Section O has the effect of completely barring lesbians and gays from receiving family benefits,” Sedwick wrote. “Consequently, the spousal limitation in Section O burdens state employees with same-sex domestic partners more than state employees with opposite-sex domestic partners.”
Friday, 23 July 2010
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Signing into law of new civil Bill welcomed
THE SIGNING into law yesterday of the Civil Partnership Bill was welcomed across the political spectrum and also by groups that have campaigned for legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland.
The Bill was signed into law by President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday morning.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said it was “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence”.
The Green Party’s justice spokesman Trevor Sargent also warmly welcomed the development, describing it as a significant step forward and a stepping stone towards greater equality in society.
While the Bill has now been enacted, it cannot fully commence until commensurate changes take place in social welfare, tax and pensions legislation.
Those changes are likely to be made in the Finance Bill and Social Welfare Bill drafted following December’s budget.
The changes will pave the way for the first civil partnership registrations to take place in January next year.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
From “Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People ” (Joan Roughgarden):
This emphatically does not mean that the males endure sexual abstinence for the rest of the year.“The females live separately from the males. The sexes associate only during the breeding season, from mid fall to early winter. A female is receptive for about three days, and will not allow herself outside of these three days.”
The males have been described as `homosexual societies`. Almost all males participate in homosexual courting and copulation. Male-male courtship begins with a stylized approach, followed by genital licking and nuzzling, and often leads to anal intercourse in which one male, usually the larger, mounts the other. The mounted male arches his back, which is identical to how a female arches her back during heterosexual intercourse. The mounting male ahs an erect penis, makes anal penetration, and performs pelvic thrusts leading to ejaculation.
The few males who do not participate in male sex are described as “effeminate”,. These males are identical tin appearance to other males but behave quite differently. They differ from “normal males” by living with the ewes rather than joining the all-male groups. These males do not dominate females, are less aggressive overall, and adopt a crouching, female urination posture. These males refuse mouning by other males. These nonhomosexual males are considerd “aberrant”, with speculation that that some hormone deficiency must underlie their behaviour. Even though in physical appearance, including body size and horn development, these males are indistinguishable from other males, scientists urge further study of their endocrinological profile.
This case turns the meanings of normal and aberrant upside down. The “normal” macho bighorn has full-fledged anal sex with other males. The “aberrant” male is the one who is straight – the lack of interest in homosexuality is considered pathological. Now, why would being straight be a pathology, requiring a hormonal checkup? According to the researchers, what’s aberrant is that a macho-looking bighorn ram acts feminine! He pees like a female – even worse than being gay.
The Wildlife Rainbow
Queer Bonobos: Sex As Conflict Resolution
Natural Law and Laysan's Albatross
Also The effeminate sheep and other problems with natural selection (at "Seed Magazine")
Bagemihl, Bruce: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (Stonewall Inn Editions)
Roughgarden, Joan: Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People Sommer,
Volker and Vasey, Paul: Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective
Monday, 19 July 2010
This is from the Telegraph:
'Gay couples will get equal right to marry'
The Coalition will give homosexual couples the same legal rights to marriage as heterosexuals, a senior Liberal Democrat has said.
Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, said that the Government will allow same-sex couples to have “civil marriage” with same legal status as marriage between a man and a woman.His comments follow moves by a Lib Dem minister to allow homosexual couples to have religious elements to their civil partnership ceremonies.
Under current rules, same-sex couples can contract a civil partnership, which is recognised in law but not given the same status as marriage for a heterosexual couple.
Mr Hughes predicted that before the next general election, the law will be changed to give an equal right to full marriage.
“It would be appropriate in Britain in 2010 to have civil marriage for straight people and gay people equally,” he said.
“The state ought to give equality. We’re halfway there. I think we ought to be able to get there in this Parliament.”
Earlier this month, Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister, said the Coalition was considering allowing same-sex couples to include key religious elements in civil partnership ceremonies.
The full equality that Mr Hughes advocated would go further than that, although he insisted any change would be limited to civil marriage and would not place any obligations on religious groups to marry same-sex couples.
Mr Hughes, regarded as being on the left of the Lib Dems, has been critical of some Coalition policies and has threatened to reject parts of the Government’s Budget package.
But, in comments in an internet-based interview, he backed the Coalition and said it was increasingly following a Lib Dem agenda.
“All the time, we are making Tories, at least Tories in government, more enlightened and that must be good for the country,” he said.
During the election campaign, the Conservatives were the only main party to suggest that they would consider allowing full homosexual marriage. Some lawyers say that would be easier to legislate for than altering existing laws on civil partnership and civil marriage.
In a most welcome development, an LGBT human rights group has just won accreditation for observer status at the UN - over strenuous opposition from some GOP politicians. Among other benefits, this has huge symbolic value - and will enable LGBT lobbyists to directly counter Vatican lobbying efforts lesbigaytrans issues.Huffpost:
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Economic and Social Council has voted to accredit the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission after strong lobbying by the U.S. administration.
The 54-member council approved the U.S.-based group's application for consultative status by a vote of 23-13 with 13 abstentions.
The organization, which has offices in South Africa, Argentina and the Philippines, has been trying since 2007 to get consultative status with the council so it can work at the United Nations. The council serves as the main U.N. forum for discussing international economic and social issues.
The U.S. government and 14 members of Congress supporting the application believe the group's application was not approved because it promotes gay rights.
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Saturday, 17 July 2010
That's 250 million people who now live in locations where legal recognition for gay marriage has been agreed. (More are on the way. Finland this week was just the latest to declare an intention to change the law.) Please note the rather prominent band of yellow - South Africa. I have only two quibbles with this. Nate refers to the "slow" growth to equality. But going from roughly one million at the start of 2007 to two and a half million now, I would describe as rapid. I would also stress that this applies to full marriage only: it would be interesting to see a similar chart which included civil unions.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
In their marathon debate, a number of senators in the 72-member upper house referred to their Catholic beliefs in presenting their reasons for opposing or supporting the bill.
Last November, I carried a link to a post at Jesus in Love blog, featuring this delightful, fun take on a gay Noah's Ark. (If you didn't do so at the time, go across now to read some useful commentary on the artist, Paul Richmond, and on the wonderful detail incorporated into the image.)
Today, I want to explore some of the more serious message behind the image. Although "wildlife diversity" has become something of a buzzword in any modern discussion of environmental conservation, and we routinely accept that species diversity is one useful measure of the health of an ecosystem, and its protection a valid goal for its management, we usually fail to recognise that sexual and gender diversity is as much a feature of the animal world as it is of human societies. In recent years, lesbian and gay historians have begun to uncover much of our hidden history, and to show how often simple binary and heteronormative assumptions in looking at the past, or at non-Western societies, have ensured that observers saw only what they expected to see. Now biologists are showing how those same assumptions have led to some flawed beliefs about animal sexuality. These assumptions about sexual behaviour have led to the abundant contrary evidence from the natural world being either simply ignored, or explained away as "exceptions", exactly as the widespread evidence for human homoerotic attraction has been ignored by historians or explained away as "deviance", and so not "natural".
Of three important books on the topic, Bruce Bagemihl’s “Biological Exuberance”, named in 1999 as one of the New York Public Library’s “Books to Remember”, was the earliest, and has attracted widespread critical attention and commentary. Same sex behaviour has been documented right across the animal kingdom, but in this book, Bagemihl concentrated on mammals and birds, providing extensive evidence of an extraordinary range of sexual behaviours, and specific profiles of 190 species. He shows how animals demonstrate all the forms of physical and emotional homosexual pairing known to man are also found among animals: masturbation, fellatio, mutual rubbing, and mounting on the physical side; male-male and female- female; casual affairs, long-term relationships, and “gay” parenting are all described, as well as non-procreative heterosexual intercourse. The widespread assumption that “natural” sexual activity is way off-beam.
One feature of human societies for which he does not find any evidence, is that of homophobia- violence or aggression against same sex couples or coupling. We are all familiar from endless wildlife documentaries with the ferocity of male competition and violence over mating ambitions, but there has not been any documented evidence of similar aggression around or by same sex couples. I am also particularly struck by the emotional dimensions of some of these relationships. In some cases, male pairs will form enduring long-term pair bonds, while engaging in heterosexual activity “on the side” for procreation. In some species, such as elephants and greylag geese, male pairs are said to endure even longer than heterosexual ones.
Two later books have further developed this theme. Volker Sommer's “Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective” examines more closely such behaviour among a range of species which engage in homosexual activity not just occasionally but “routinely”, which include birds, dolphin, deer, bison and cats, as well as several species of primates.
For me, the most exciting of the set is “Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People", by Joan Roughgarden, published just last year, because she expands the scope of the two earlier books by incorporating studies of fish, reptiles and amphibians as well as birds and animals, and also brings the discussion back to humans. Professionally, the author is an acclaimed academic in evolutionary biology, but is also a male to female transsexual, who successfully combines scientific expertise with personal insight to re-examine the evidence in the light of feminist, gay and transgender criticism.
These are some extracts from a useful review by George Williamson, PhD, at Mental health.net:
Though her critique is wide-ranging, Roughgarden's targets are easily named. At broadest, she indicts a number of academic disciplines ranging from biology and evolutionary science to anthropology and theology, for the suppression of diversity. An example of this suppression is the long-standing difficulty in getting information on animal homosexuality into the academic record. As she documents, such information has been ignored or 'explained away' to the present day. Of course, the charge of discrimination has often been leveled at Western culture's concept of sex and gender, and neither this concept nor its critique are any longer unfamiliar. But Roughgarden's case is refreshing in its particularity and detail. Conventional assumptions regarding the fixity and generality of gendered behaviors and roles, of their binate structure, of mating strategies, and even of body plan of the sexes very quickly begin to appear naive when faced with examples of fish that change gender and sex in the course of a life, all-female lizard species that clone themselves yet still have (lesbian?) sex, bird couples with 'open' relationships, primate species whose members are completely bisexual, and fish whose reproductive strategy involves the collaboration of three distinct genders. But such data are routinely discounted through the assumed normality of a male/female genderbinary. Much as the cultural projection of normative gender roles tends to push divergent sexual expression to the margins of the everyday social world, so has it tended to promote the exclusion of conflicting data in biology, or the pathologizing of expression in medicine and psychology. And this must have consequences, for such omissions invalidate the theorization of sexuality and gender, for example, in evolutionary theory. How could one accurately account for the evolution of sexuality, having left aside the data on same-sex relations or tri-gendered families?
Roughgarden recommends eliminating sexual selection from evolutionary theory, and instead proposes her own view, social selection. Courtship, she argues, is not about discerning a male's genetic quality but rather about determining his likelihood of investing in parental care for offspring. Sex is not merely about spermtransfer, but rather about forming bonds within animal societies and negotiating for access to resources necessary to reproduce. Further, the evidence adduced suggests this negotiation goes on in within-sex relationships as much as in between-sex relationships, such as in a group of females who share parenting among themselves. So the picture of sex that emerges is that mating is about building social relationships first, and only secondarily about passing on genes. This explains why much more sex than reproduction happens, including much non-reproductive sex, and also allows a clear account of homosexual sex. The real beauty is that it does not require an explanation for homosexuality different from that for heterosexuality: both are about forming social relationships and negotiating access to resources. Differences in the prevalence of homosexuality in different animal societies can be attributed to differences in the relationships (between-sex, within-sex) which organize and distribute resources within those societies. Indeed, the prominent secondary sex characteristics, which at face value appear to be the basis of mate choice (the peacock's tail, the predator's size), may not be intended for the opposite sex at all.
A couple more of Roughgarden's targets are worth mentioning. Psychology and medicine have had considerable influence in forming our ideas of normality in behavior and body morphology, and thus in legitimating differential treatment of those who deviate from the norm. Homosexuality, for instance, until recently was listed as a mental disorder in psychiatry; transexuality still is. There still remain groups offering to treat and cure homosexuality. Children born with atypical genitals (penis too small, clitoris too large, some of both sexes) are often subjected to reconstructive surgery to correct their 'ambiguity'. Evidently, diversity is 'not good' in the eyes of the medical and psychological establishment. Having documented some of the disastrous consequences of these procedures, Roughgarden raises the reasonable question, "who really needs a cure?" She challenges some of the dubious bases provided for labeling these traits as diseases or genetic defects, and concludes that our tendency to pathologize difference is really what needs to be cured.
"Homosexuality" is not in any way unnatural. Homophobia, and exclusive heterosexuality, are.
See also:National Geographic: Homosexual Activity Among Animals Stirs Debate Youtube: Gay Animals
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
In Argentina, the Senate is debating a law to approve full equality for all families. A priest who has openly declared support for the law has now been barred by the bishops from celebrating Mass.
Priest José Nicolás Alessio was sanctioned by the Archbishop of Cordoba due to his position in favor of gay marriage.
The sanctions consist of the prohibition on offering Mass and weddings. “I am surprised and very hurt because I never thought that the Bishop of Cordoba (Carlos Náñez), who appeared more open to the position of the Argentine bishop in these prohibitions, cut off heads who think differently,” Alessio said. “I have commitments to my community. I believe more in the Gospel that in these canonical codes, so this weekend I will celebrate Mass, unless they put me prisoner, “the priest added. Alessio works in the parish of San Cayetano and is willing to challenge the sanction even if “he can make another ‘crime’ when it celebrates Mass, because the first was by thinking differently and the second will be for being faithful to my community.”
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
The lack of support for legalizing gay marriage amongst conservatives is surprising because the push to legalize gay marriage serves conservative aims.
The conservative case for gay marriage begins with Barry Goldwater’s landmark book, The Conscience of a Conservative—the manifesto that forms the intellectual foundation of modern American conservatism. As Goldwater put it, “the Conservative looks upon politics as the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of the social order.” Legalizing gay marriage would do just that.
The argument that legalizing gay marriage would increase individual freedom is pretty straightforward: government regulation of who can and who cannot marry limits individuals’ control over their own lives, and thus decreases individual freedom. Therefore, the government should turn a blind eye to individuals’ sexual orientations, and extend the right to marry to the estimated 15 million gay Americans.
But for gay marriage to increase individual freedom isn’t enough, given Goldwater’s definition of conservatism. For legalizing gay marriage to qualify as a conservative political act, it must also “be consistent with the maintenance of the social order.”
Gay marriage does this too. For one, marriage benefits society by creating a safe, stable, and healthy environment for parents to raise children. Study after study has shown that children raised in wedlock are healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive members of society than children raised out of wedlock. And according to a study conducted by University of California, Davis professor Gregory Herek, this is as true for families in which both parents are members of the same sex as it is for traditional families.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/13/a-conservative-case-for-gay-marriage/#ixzz0tajbFzrE
Monday, 5 July 2010
Spain's gay marriage law turned five on July 3. Passage of the law in the Roman Catholic nation turned Spain into a gay rights leader. Since then, 10,317 male couples and 5,063 female couples have married, 1.55% of the nation's total marriages, Madrid-based daily El Pais reported.
The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero approved the law over the objections of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict has called on Spanish Catholics to reject gay marriage.
In 2005, only three nations – the Netherlands, Canada and Belgium – had legalized gay marriage. Five years later, Sweden, Iceland, South Africa, and Portugal have joined in.
Lawmakers in Argentina will consider a gay marriage law on July 14.Read the full story at "On Top"
In the deepest darkest depths of Vietnam, two new herpetological (reptile and amphibian) species have been discovered. These creatures – dubbed ‘lesbian lizards’ and ‘psychedelic geckos’ – were found by expert Lee Grismer and his son, Jesse on a 2 week expedition to Southeast Asia. The lesbian lizards are asexual and arouse each other by mock mating. This in turn causes them to ovulate and lay eggs – and produce clones of themselves.
Friday, 2 July 2010
Costa Rica's Constitutional Court Orders A Stop To Same Sex Marriage Referendum
The Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court) has ordered the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) to suspend the process of the referendum on same sex marriages that was to have been included in the December 2010 municipal elections.
The court order was based on an appeal filed against the referendum.
The Recurso Amparo (appeal) was presented by an individual identified only by the last names, Quirós Salazar, alleging that the referendum violates the rights and freedoms of individuals.
The referendum was to have let the population decide the fate of a proposal for law that would allow same sexmarriages in Costa Rica
Opponents to the referendum have argued that leaving the allowing the majority of the population (93%) which is heterosexual would be a constitutional violation of the 7% of the homosexual population.
The Quirós Salazar action argues that there are international declarations that make it clear that there be a respect for the rights of minorities.
The Court order orders the TSE to not continue with its efforts for the referendum while the magistrates of the Sala Constitucional consider the appeal.
"Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality" is a new book I am putting directly onto my reading list, based on this fascinating review by Eeric Michael Johnson, a scholar who writes on issues of science, politics, and history at The Primate Diaries. So much hot air in the debates over marriage equality and about Vatican doctrine is wasted over assumptions over "natural law" and "traditional" marriage, that we do not pay enough attention to what truly is natural or traditional.
For the husband and wife team Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá in their new book Sex At Dawn, this example is one of many that suggests the human species did not evolve in monogamous, nuclear families but rather in small, intimate groups where “most mature individuals would have had several ongoing sexual relationships at any given time.” We are the descendants of these multimale-multifemale mating groups and, even though we’ve constructed a radically different society from our hunter-gatherer forebears, the behavioral and psychological traits our species evolved in the distant past still manifest themselves today. Ryan, a psychologist, and Jethá, a psychiatrist, argue that understanding human sexual evolution this way helps to explain our species’ unique creativity inside (as well as outside) the marriage bed.
Thursday, 1 July 2010
A few years ago the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland conducted guided tours that centered around homosexual behavior among the zoo animals. Unfortunately, the one hour tours were held in the early evenings, at a time when most animals were asleep. But this did not stop the gay zoo tours from being a success. Though there was no same-sex activity in evidence, tour guide Myriam Schärz assured her tourists that same-sex behavior is a common part of animal life: "I don't know of any species that is exclusively heterosexual," Schärz told "swissinfo," Switzerland's news and information platform. "Right here in Zurich we once had a gay flamingo couple who remained partners for life. In Cologne Zoo they have a pair of lesbian penguins who each year steal an egg from one of their neighbors and treat it as their own."'
"On every continent, animals of the same sex seek each other out and have probably been doing it for millions of years," Bagemihl wrote. .......According to Bagemihl, "Homosexual behavior occurs in more than 450 different kinds of animals worldwide, and is found in every major geographic region and every major animal group."
Gay animal behavior seems to alarm religious conservatives almost as much as the human variety, and they have tried their best to deny it. Those who do admit that same-sex behavior exists in the animal kingdom try to explain it away as being playful antics or dominance behavior to assert hierarchy."Female western gulls sometimes pair off for several years and mount each other while incubating eggs," Steve Hogan and Lee Hudson wrote in Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia. "Similar behaviors have been documented among female sage grouse, male mallard ducks, and female and male greylag geese and turkeys." According to the authors of Out in All Directions: The Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America, same-sex behavior has been documented in all kinds of animal species, including antelope, bugs, butterflies, cats, cattle, cockroaches, crickets, dogs, donkeys, elephants, flies, geckos, guinea pigs, hamsters, horses, hyenas, lions, martens, mice, moths, octopuses, orcas, porcupines, raccoons, rats and wasps.
"Some conservatives and religious groups now admit that homosexuality is common in the animal kingdom, but many of them have also put forward theories to explain the phenomenon," said Myriam Schärz of the Zurich Zoo. "Some argue that homosexuality only occurs when animal populations become too large, or that animals only turn to homosexuality when they have no other alternative, but there is no evidence to back up the population theory, and there is plenty of proof against the harem argument. Dominant silver-back gorillas, for instance, have frequently been seen engaging in homosexual activity and deliberately shunning available females.""Humans seem to be the only species where homosexuals are not readily accepted in society," Schärz said
Bagemihl, Bruce: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (Stonewall Inn Editions)
Roughgarden, Joan: Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People
Sommer, Volker and Vasey, Paul: Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective
Hogan, Steve: Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia
Witt, Lynn: Out in All Directions: Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America
Also See Additional QTC Posts:
The Wildlife Rainbow
Queer Bonobos: Sex As Conflict Resolution
Exclusive Heterosexuality Unnatural?
Natural Law and Laysan's Albatross
The effeminate sheep and other problems with natural selection. (at "Seed Magazine")