Sunday, November 19, 2006

Angry Parents Censor Gay Penguins Children's Love Story

One can understand when concerned parents are up in arms about video game stores selling their impressionable children copies of the M-rated Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game. After all, the game had hidden sex scenes and plenty of graphic violence with firearms and gang violence. But parents at the Shiloh Elementary School who have criticized the school's administration for refusing to censor a controversial children's book about two male penguins who partnered to help incubate and successfully hatch a penguin egg is beyond comprehension. The parents complain that the book's content is unsuitable for children as it has homosexual overtones.

Book Cover for Tango Makes Three Controversial Childrens BookThe real life penguin family: Roy, Tango and Silo
From left to right: "And Tango Makes Three" Children's Book; The Real Life Penguins: Roy, Tango and Silo.

I agree with the school for standing by their policy not to sensor the book or move it to the mature reader section. This charming book, entitled "And Tango Makes Three" is written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson with watercolor illustrations by Henry Cole (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, April 26 2005, ISBN 0-689-87845-1). These three men are not secretly conspiring to overturn American family values by inculcating our children with the alleged "evils" of homosexuality, but providing an artistic rendition of a true life story of two male Chinstrap penguins, Roy and Silo, who partnered together in 2004 New York's Central Park Zoo to hatch this egg. See the New York Times article,
Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name, dated February 7, 2004, which was the inspiration for this book.

These penguins shared a mutual experience in which they gave life to their species, far from their native home, in a man-made unnatural environment. This is a story of triumph, love, and life. Here's an excerpt from the book that shocks many fundamental Christian families:

Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different. One was named Roy and the other was named Silo. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together…They didn’t spend much time with the girl penguins and the girl penguins didn’t spend much time with them. Instead, Roy and Silo wound their necks around each other. Their keeper, Mr. Gramzay noticed the two penguins and thought to himself “They must be in love.”

One angry father has written on his blog, "Regardless, this book has been insidiously and deceitfully placed in libraries across America to re-educate young children to accept all families as valid, whether they have two mommies, two daddies, three daddies or three mommies and two daddies." Well, instead of lashing out with such anger, perhaps some of these parents should write their own children's book with the values to which they feel their children should be exposed. America seems to be a place of intolerance: hatred and violence against interracial marriages and gay marriages, anti-Semitism, and now even overt hostility against penguins that show affection for each other. There are no graphic sexual scenes in this book. The penguins merely "wound their necks around each other."

Furthermore, Tango was a female penguin, so there are no anti-female undertones to this children's story. Roy and Silo spent over two months caring for Tango after her birth. Furthermore, the zookeeper was not trying to encourage what many parents refer to as abnormal behavior, but helped to save Tango's life. Penguins can only care for one chicklet at a time. Since the female penguin had two eggs, she was forced to abandon one. Had the zookeeper not given this egg to Roy and Silo, Tango would have never experienced life or love.

Other zoos in New York, Germany, and Japan have reported same-sex penguin couples, both male and female. When the males pair, they often replace a stone for an egg and place it in a nest, unsuccessfully trying to incubate it. So, the story of Roy and Silo is not an isolated incident, but a very fascinating phenomenon. Why should children not read about this, especially since it might inspire a child to someday enter into the field of biology as a researcher to unlock this mystery? Apparently, Roy and Silo have maintained a monogamous loving relationship for nearly six years. How many of these angry parents can say the same thing about their own marital lives?

-- Des Manttari,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home