Female Western Gulls - Poem by gershon hepner
Fifteen percent of female western gulls
are homosexual when they’re in the wild,
seeing only same sex never dulls
the appetite for those who are self-styled
homosexual, lesbian, queer and gay
who’d rather mount the members of their sex
than of the opposite, and have their way
in copulas highest court respects.
What is protected by the Bill of Rights
interpreted by judges who’re supreme
appeals to bonobo and penguin catamites
when they are courting in a double-team.
Sex always means far more than making babies:
we’re animals, yes, whether bi or straight
or homosexual, closeted as maybes,
and therefore should take care to never hate.
Dinitia Smith writes about same-sex partners Roy and Silo, penguins at the Central Park Zoo “Love that Dare Not Squeak Its Name, ” NYT, February 7,2004) and points out that homosexuality is common in the animal kingdom:
But if homosexuality occurs among animals, does that necessarily mean that it is natural for humans, too? And that raises a familiar question: if homosexuality is not a choice, but a result of natural forces that cannot be controlled, can it be immoral? The open discussion of homosexual behavior in animals is relatively new. 'There has been a certain cultural shyness about admitting it, ' said Frans de Waal, whose 1997 book, 'Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape' (University of California Press) , unleashed a torrent of discussion about animal sexuality. Bonobos, apes closely related to humans, are wildly energetic sexually. Studies show that whether observed in the wild or in captivity, nearly all are bisexual, and nearly half their sexual interactions are with the same sex. Female bonobos have been observed to engage in homosexual activity almost hourly.
Before his own book, 'American scientists who investigated bonobos never discussed sex at all, ' said Mr. de Waal, director of the Living Links Center of the Yerkes Primate Center at Emory University in Atlanta. 'Or they sometimes would show two females having sex together, and would say, `The females are very affectionate.' '
Then in 1999, Bruce Bagemihl published 'Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity' (St. Martin's Press) , one of the first books of its kind to provide an overview of scholarly studies of same-sex behavior in animals. Mr. Bagemihl said homosexual behavior had been documented in some 450 species. (Homosexuality, he says, refers to any of these behaviors between members of the same sex: long-term bonding, sexual contact, courtship displays or the rearing of young.) Last summer the book was cited by the American Psychiatric Association and other groups in a 'friend of the court' brief submitted to the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, a case challenging a Texas anti-sodomy law. The court struck down the law….
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