Categories
Abortion and Other Evils

Do “Gay Birds” Prove Homosexuality is Moral?

This is certainly an interesting topic and certainly one which will get people to click. Apparently a number of species of birds and mammals have been known to display homosexual behavior. There were two penguins, for instance, called Roy and Silo who lived together in New York City’s Central Park Zoo. They began performing mating rituals together in 1998 and in 1999. They attempted to hatch a rock as if it were an egg and steal eggs from other penguin couples (evidently, they were alright with kidnapping in order to have a child). Eventually, the zoo staff allowed them to adopt a young penguin girl called Tango who grew up to be a lesbian and began dating another penguin called Tanuzi. It seems Roy and Silo became more aggressive once another couple forced them out of their nest. They eventually broke up and Silo got with a female called Scrappy. Roy remained single to the end of his days. It should be noted that they were never seen in a sexual act, but apparently were doing the penguin equivalent of making out. Apparently, two children’s books starring Roy, Silo, and Tango were released—controversial for obvious reasons.

Some have argued that this may not have been sexual after all, since they never had any sexual acts. Although this may be true, I would not be at all surprised if same-sex attraction exists among penguins. However, some have argued that since animals display homosexual behavior, this some way suggests it is natural and moral to do. I beg to differ.

My objection is very simple: if people are to decide from animals what is moral, this should follow for all animal practices. The majority of humans do not do this. For instance, rabbits occasionally eat their young, especially when varmints, household pets, rodents, or some other unusual visitor enters the rabbitry soon after the doe has delivered her young or the does are dehydrated (I certainly hope the reader does not support mothers eating their babies if they are dehydrated). Frogs will eat any critter they can swallow—including other frogs. Cute little hamsters can, in fact, be territorial and eat other hamsters who invade their personal space. They are even known under some circumstances to eat their young. Occasionally even chimpanzees, probably the most intelligent species on the planet, have been known to cannibalize their former friends. Some might say that this does not happen often among chimpanzees as it does not happen often among humans, which may be true, but neither do penguins often have homosexual relationships. It is a rare occurrence. But if we are to say that since some animals are homosexual, this is reason to suppose that humans can be, we might also just as well conclude that cannibalism is permissible.

I honestly do not understand why we should base our morality off of animals at all, since they have less of it. What, apart from the religious claims of the immortality of the soul, differentiates us from the animals? Rationality and volition. Monkeys are said to show some sense of fairness, but animals in general are not so ethically based as humans are. So why should we practice morality based on what the animals do? Why should we sink to our animal instincts in such a way? In other words, if a few animals mature abnormally so as to practice behaviors which would be immoral for humans, why does that mean that we should do the same?

So I do not really see why the fact that certain animals display homosexual behavior means that we should as well. If we sink to our animal instincts, nothing really makes us greater than they.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor

A page from the controversial children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, which tells in a narrative form the story of Roy, Silo, and Tango.