Catholic journalist Caroline Farrow has received backlash online for criticising London Zoo for their Pride campaign in support of their gay penguins.
Farrow took particular issue with signs in the penguin’s beach colony which read, “Some penguins are gay, get over it.”
The sign celebrates the zoo’s own same-sex penguin couple, the world-famous residents, Humboldt penguins Ronnie and Reggie.
Penguin couple Ronnie and Reggie got together in 2014 and went on to adopt an egg that was abandoned by another couple. The zoo has said that the couple raised the chick together and that they can often be found cuddling together.
There are some other same-sex penguin couples at the London Zoo including couple Nadja and Zimmer as well as Dev and Martin.
Although the reaction to the campaign has been very positive overall, Farrow took to Twitter last week to complain about the campaign saying it is inappropriate for children.
Farrow said: “Imagine taking your 6 year old to London zoo and them asking you which penguins are gay? It’s nonsense like this which is causing a pushback. Which isn’t hatred but people saying enough. Stop pushing your values on my children.
She continued saying: “Imagine the reaction of the National Secular Society or the British Humanists if London zoo had a sign saying some emus are Catholic; get over it?!
“I don’t know about you but when I take the kids out to the zoo, it’s for fun and quality time together. Which doesn’t include politicisation of any nature! Mind you I am not a fan of zoos per se…
“What are these parents who take their kids to Pride thinking of? “Some men get very happy and excited when dressed up as a rubber dog. Get over it”?!”
In response to Farrow’s rant a number of Twitter users pointed out that the topic of gay penguins need not be a complicated discussion:
“Imagine telling your six year old that no one should care about it because all penguins are free to choose who they love.”
“Why not just tell him which penguins are gay. Seems simple.”
Farrow responded to people’s criticisms going so far as to call the gay penguins “deviants”.
Homosexuality is quite common throughout the animal kingdom and has even been observed in insects. It’s not unusual for penguins, in particular, to be attracted to those of the same sex.
In fact, the number of gay penguins at the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium in Kerry has quadrupled since Ireland legalized same-sex marriage.
London Zoo’s Pride event will take place on Friday, July 5. Among the plans for the day are activities that will teach visitors about gender and mating in the animal kingdom, where visitors will learn just how common same-sex pairings are – from penguins and pandas to goats and giraffes.
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