Same-sex penguin parents Electra and Viola hatch a chick together and it's just adorable.
via Heather Hogan / Twitter

One of the common reasons homophobic people give for being against homosexuality is that it's "unnatural." However, they are totally wrong. Research shows that homosexuality doesn't just occur among humans, but throughout the animal kingdom.

According to Yale University, homosexuality has been observed in approximately 10% of "prevailing species throughout the world."

At first glance, the prevalence of homosexuality seems to work against Darwin's theory of evolution. Animals that prefer same-sex relationships are likely to reproduce and pass their genetic traits to the next generation.

But according to Yale, same-sex partnerships can have a positive effect on a species' survival because of their social benefits.

"Same-sex pairing in many species actually alleviates the likelihood of divorce and curtails the pressure on the opposite sex by allowing members to exhibit more flexibility to form partnerships, which in turn strengthens social bonds and reduces competition," Arash Fereydooni writes.

Given the inherent naturalness of same-sex coupling, the Oceanogràfic València aquarium in Spain allowed a pair of female Gentoo penguins, Electra and Viola, to adopt another penguin's egg after employees saw them displaying nesting behaviors.

Caregivers at the aquarium noticed the couple gathering stones in preparation for an egg so they knew they'd be perfect parents. After the couple received the egg, they took turns standing over the egg, incubating it until after a little over a month, it hatched a healthy chick.

Caregivers at the aquarium have called the two an "an exceptional pair."

The penguins will work together to raise the baby bird for about 75 days until it becomes independent.

via faith / Twitter

The same-sex penguin adoption is a first for Oceanogràfic València, but the aquarium says it's fairly common.

In 2018, a pair of gay male penguins at the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium caught the world's attention by raising an egg together. After noticing that Sphen and Magic had built an intense relationship together, caregivers gave them a fake egg to incubate.

They knew the relationship was real when the penguins sang to each other.

"You would see Magic standing in his spot looking for Sphen, and he would call and Sphen would come running over and give Magic a little bow and sing as well," Tish Hannan, head of penguin supervision at the aquarium, told The Independent. "They've chosen each other. That's it. They're bonded now."

The pair did such a good job they were given a real egg to incubate and they raised it until it successfully.

The gay penguins' relationship was even more important because it happened while Australia was having a heated political debate over gay human marriage. Eventually, same-sex couples won the right to marry Down Under.

In the end, love is love, and whether human or penguin, a portion of the population is going to be gay. So, if anyone ever tells you that same-sex relationships are unnatural, let 'em know that being gay is not only natural, but beneficial to the survival of the species.


A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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