Australian politician rages at gay penguins, claiming they are ‘indoctrinating children’

A right-wing politician in Australia is claiming a gay penguin couple at Sea Life Sydney aquarium are “fake” and being used to indoctrinate young children.

Family First Party national director Lyle Shelton has taken aim at a new resource that aims to teach pupils from kindergarten to year two in New South Wales (NSW) about same-sex relationships.

The collaboration between the aquarium and the NSW Teachers Federation looks at the lives of Sphen and Magic, and teaches about “love in all shapes and sizes”, according to a Facebook post by the federation.

However, Shelton claimed the pair’s relationship is “damage caused by human interference in the animal kingdom… being served up to our youngest, most-impressionable children as education on thriving gay relationships and diverse parenting arrangements”.

He took at aim at the fact the male pair had bonded and were later given eggs to incubate.

“This would have encouraged them to stay together for future breeding cycles and effectively stopped them from seeking out female partners,” Shelton, a former youth pastor, claimed.

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The gay penguins had been “manipulated” and were now being used to “indoctrinate children”, he said.

“Family First stands completely opposed to all forms of propaganda being taught in schools and especially so when it comes to discussions on sexuality and diverse relationships,” Shelton added in a statement on the political party’s website.

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If the party was elected, “scrubbing such nonsense education from school curriculums” would be a party priority, he said.

Sea Life Sydney states on its website that Sphen and Magic (the “Same Sex Penguin Power Couple”) developed a strong bond in 2018 “and became inseparable before breeding season”, going on to collect pebbles to create a nest.

It was then that the aquarium gave them a dummy egg “to ensure the couple were not excluded from the season“, and allowed them to practise and develop their incubating skills. They were eventually given a real egg from a couple that had two, and have continued to pair up for breeding season ever since.

They’re by no means the only same-sex penguins. Others include fellow Australian sea birds Klaus and Jones, in Melbourne, while the UK has Diego and Zorro, in Bournemouth, as well as two pairs – Marmalade and Chickpea, and Marama and Rocky – in London, and New York is home to Elmer and Lima, in the US.

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