Social conservatives are cheering
recent headlines about a former lesbian and a gay penguin.
The cheering started when one of the
San Francisco Zoo's gay penguins, Harry, abruptly ended a six-year
relationship with Pepper to shack up with Linda. Harry and Pepper
made international headlines when they adopted an egg laid by another
Magellanic penguin and zoo handlers allowed the couple to incubate it
After a bitter separation, which
required Pepper be placed in a separate exhibit, Harry and Linda
successfully nested this year.
Matt Barber, an ardent anti-gay foe,
used the breakup as evidence that being gay is choice: “The highly
contentious 'nature vs nurture' debate over whether gay penguins
choose the homosexual lifestyle or are hatched that way has reached a
hard boil,” Barber said in a RenewAmerica
article titled 'Gay' penguin flies straight.
After praising Harry's decision to
“embrace natural sexuality,” Barber adds that Pepper has
“reportedly been spotted waddling around the zoo's public men's
room, skulking in stalls and inexplicably tapping his flipper.”
And Tim Graham at the conservative
website points to the story of a former lesbian as proof being
gay is a choice.
In December 2005, Kerry Pacer, then 17,
was featured on the cover of gay monthly The
Advocate for fighting for the right to form a gay-straight
club at White County High School in Cleveland, Georgia. Pacer says
she came out at the age of 12, but today she lives with her boyfriend
and their one-year-old daughter, Marley.
“It's me and the baby and Shannon
[Phagan], who is my boyfriend,” Pacer, now 21, told gay weekly the
Blade. “We got together in high school. … You can't help
who you fall in love with. No matter what, you have to be happy and
follow your dreams and be who you are.”
Graham called Pacer's sexuality a
“slightly embarrassing case” for the “gay left.”
“Apparently, those people who insist
homosexuality isn't a choice or something you can change think
Pacer's choices are fine, so long as her politics remain aligned with
the gay left,” Graham said.