Danish Proactive Legislation Secures Animal Same Sex Marriage Rights

Posted: 19. October 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Same-sex marriage became legal in Denmark on 15 June 2012, after the Danish parliament voted in favour of gender-neutral marriage, including marriages in the Church of Denmark. Denmark has recognised civil unions since 1989, thus becoming the first country in the World to do so. As of January 2012 there are 4,101 couples in registered partnerships in Denmark.

By June these unions got status of marriage with the same legal rights as married couples.

Since 1999, it has been possible for same-sex couples to adopt their partner's biological children and, in March 2009, Danish Parliament decided to work on legislation allowing same-sex couples to jointly apply for adoption. The formal decision passed in Danish parliament on 3 May 2010. On 2 June 2006, a majority in parliament voted for abolishing a law that since 1997 has banned lesbians from insemination.

So, in Denmark, being homosexual is not an obstruction of a couple's family plans.

Apparently, this also goes for penguins.

Penguins have been observed to engage in homosexual behaviour since at least as early as 1911. George Murray Levick, who documented this behaviour in Adélie Penguins at Cape Adare, described it as "depraved". The report was considered too shocking for public release at the time, and was suppressed. The only copies that were made available privately to researchers were translated into Greek, to prevent this knowledge becoming more widely known.

The report was unearthed only a century later, and published in Polar Record in June 2012.

However, homosexual behaviour is quite common with birds, and many animal parks around the world have their own 'fellas' among the penguin population.

In Odense Zoo a couple of male penguins have been showing signs of mutual affection for quite a while. The typical 'steps' of true coupling among animals are 1) affection, 2) courtship, 3) pair bonding, 4) sex and 5) parenting. The penguins in Odense have gradually reached level 5, and have been engaging in brooding behaviour for a couple of months.

The zoo staff first noticed this when they discovered that one of the penguins seemed to be incubating one of the herrings they were supposed to eat – without much success, obviously. This sort of behaviour has been seen in other zoos around the world. Penguins in brooding mood will typically sit on small rocks, as if they were eggs.

The keepers in charge of the penguin area of Odense Zoo had a meeting with the veterinarians about what to do about this situation. However, fortunately, the chain of events got ahead of their considerations.

Among the Odense penguins is one particular female specimen who is known by the keepers as a somewhat sexually 'loose' individual. She often couples up with different males during breeding season, and seems to be only interested in the sex and the attention, leaving the males with the entire responsibility of parenting.

This year, that particualr female had coupled up with two males, resulting in the laying of two eggs. And, as usual, she left both partners with the responsibility of incubating, hatching and bringing up the chicks by themselves. One of the 'rejects' was a mature male, and the keepers' estimate was that he would be able to single parent. The other one, however, was a very young male, and it would be difficult for him to manage the task even with help from the keepers.

So, they decided to let the forementioned male couple adopt the egg.

This proved successful, and a couple of weeks ago the egg hatched, and the happy couple are now the parents of a strong and healthy chick.

Besides, the single father penguin's egg also hatched with a strong baby penguin.

So, everything is happiness in Odense Zoo. Thanks to responsible legislation!


PS: Sorry about the head-line. I couldn't resist it.

Comments
  1. Cois says:

    wow…That was a eye-opener even for me.I knew about the homosexuality between the birds. (yey internet)but to adopt and raise was something else…sure puts a spanner in the works for those who say mothernature never intended it that way… :whistle:

  2. crookedfig says:

    A heart warming story, I mean we could have been fobbing off orphans and unwanted kids to gay couples for years..this is a great idea.

  3. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by crookedfig:

    we could have been fobbing off orphans and unwanted kids to gay couples for years

    Well, as suggested, we have been doing that in Denmark for quite some time now. Of course, a homosexual couple can raise kids just as well as heteros. Sexual orientation does not have an influence on parental skills. In fact sexual orientation does not have an influence on anything but sexual orientation – which would be obvious to anyone with a fairly well working set of brains.

  4. Spaggyj says:

    Ah, this is a lovely Sunday morning read. thank you for posting.

  5. qlue says:

    Originally posted by Aqualion:

    In fact sexual orientation does not have an influence on anything but sexual orientation – which would be obvious to anyone with a fairly well working set of brains.

    Well working brains tend to be in short supply amongst the legislators of most Countries! 🙄

  6. Aqualion says:

    The legislation mentioned is for humans, not for animals. We might be 'liberal' in Denmark, but we wouldn't go as far as to introduce equality legislation for animals. I just thought it would be sort of 'educational' to connect this zoo event with this same sex legislation that has been the talk of the year in Denmark. The two things are not actually connected. Only in my mind.Sorry, if I was too subtle.

  7. gdare says:

    I guess that a law was meant more to ease the minds of people than to change something in penguins' lives. Mother nature has taken care of it before and, hopefully, will in future. Penguins don't care about our legislation, anyway 😀

  8. derWandersmann says:

    LOL

  9. gdare says:

    :doh:

  10. crookedfig says:

    Yes, it is very interesting.i have had trouble with accepting homosexual couples as being able to raise kids.I can now say I was probably wrong.

    We might be 'liberal' in Denmark, but we wouldn't go as far as to introduce equality legislation for animals.

    Hard to enforce as well.:D

  11. Spaggyj says:

    Originally posted by Aqualion:

    We might be 'liberal' in Denmark, but we wouldn't go as far as to introduce equality legislation for animals.

    Did anyone actually think it was a law for animals?

  12. Aqualion says:

    Originally posted by Spaggyj:

    Did anyone actually think it was a law for animals?

    Don't know. It was just Darko's comment that made me think, that perhaps it was best if I put in a sort of disclaimer. The tabloid style head-line can be misleading.

  13. Spaggyj says:

    Ah, I see.

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