In an unexpected turn of events, a right-wing politician in Australia has sparked a debate by claiming that a gay penguin couple at Sea Life Sydney aquarium is part of a “fake” narrative designed to indoctrinate young children. Here’s the whole story.
The Lives of Two Male Penguins Named Sphen and Magic as an Example of Same-Sex Relationships
Lyle Shelton, the national director of the Family First Party, voiced his concerns over a new educational resource that aims to teach students in New South Wales, NSW, about same-sex relationships, using the lives of two male penguins named Sphen and Magic as an example.
The collaboration between Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and the NSW Teachers Federation sought to educate students, from kindergarten to year two, about love in all its forms.
The program included a focus on the unique relationship between Sphen and Magic.
… To Teach Children About Diverse Parenting Arrangements
According to a Facebook post by the federation, the resource aimed to teach children about diverse parenting arrangements and love in various shapes and sizes.
Lyle Shelton, however, has strongly criticized the program, claiming that the relationship between the penguin couple is the result of human interference in the animal kingdom.
A former youth pastor, Shelton, argues that presenting this relationship as education on thriving gay relationships and diverse parenting arrangements is problematic.
He pointed out that the male pair had bonded and were given eggs to incubate, suggesting that this manipulation interfered with their natural behaviors and prevented them from seeking female partners.
Gay Penguins to “Indoctrinate Children”
Shelton accused Sea Life Sydney of using the gay penguins to “indoctrinate children”. He referred to the educational initiative as “propaganda.”
In a statement on the Family First Party’s website, he expressed his opposition to all forms of propaganda taught in schools, particularly in discussions about sexuality and diverse relationships.
He emphasized that eradicating such education from school curriculums would be a top priority if his party was elected.
Sea Life Sydney, on the other hand, has openly shared the story of Sphen and Magic, referring to them as the “Same-Sex Penguin Power Couple.”
They Are Not the Only Same-Sex Penguins in the World
The aquarium’s website explains that the two penguins developed a strong bond in 2018 and became inseparable before the breeding season.
The aquarium staff gave them a dummy egg to ensure they were not excluded from the breeding season.
Sphen and Magic were then given a real egg from another couple with two, allowing them to practice and develop their incubating skills.
They have since continued to pair up for breeding season each year. It’s important to note that Sphen and Magic are not the only same-sex penguins in the world.
“Penguins Are Always Plotting”
Other examples include Klaus and Jones in Melbourne, Australia, Diego and Zorro in Bournemouth, UK, Marmalade and Chickpea, and Marama and Rocky, in London. Even New York City is home to Elmer and Lima, another same-sex penguin couple.
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “I think ‘politician’ is stretching the mark a bit there. Maybe ‘failed politician’ or ‘right-wing commentator'”
Another user joked, “Penguins are always plotting.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / MAYA LAB. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: The Pink News