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 last year.

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 Washington 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.