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Gay Penguin Book Causes Uproar in Charlotte

The big news of the week here in the Queen City has been the newspaper-driven controversy about the book, And Tango Makes Three.

Tango, the storybook penguin with two daddies, is headed back to the libraries of four Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary schools until a CMS panel decides the fate of the briefly banned book next month.

Superintendent Peter Gorman spent Wednesday fielding questions about penguins, homosexuality and censorship after the Observer reported that he and his staff banned “And Tango Makes Three” on Nov. 30. The picture book, based on a true story from New York’s Central Park Zoo, is about two male penguins who pair up and hatch an adopted egg.

Gorman said he “screwed up” by yanking the book. He blamed a miscommunication between him and Chief of Staff Robert Avossa.

After the Observer questioned the ban Tuesday, Gorman had his staff brief him on CMS policy for handling challenges.  The Tango books will be returned to Eastover, Hickory Grove, Mallard Creek and Myers Park elementary schools today, Gorman said.

“One of the copies I have right now,” he said Wednesday evening. “It’s in my briefcase.”

Before this, CMS hadn’t banned a library book in more than a decade.  Normally, a parent or community member would file a complaint that would be reviewed at the school in question.

Frankly, it is refreshing for a leader (elected or not) to take responsibility for his or her actions.  Gorman is new to his role and many things he has done have been a welcome change to the monolithic Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District.

Banning a book is not one of them, but admitting he messed up is.

Not having read the book, I can’t make a judgment on its merits.  But I do think parents have a right to challenge the idea of having a sensitive subject like gay parenting presented to young children in a cartoon-like book.

Meanwhile, an update on the original gay penguins

A quick recap: Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo, paired up and hatched baby Tango from an adopted egg. Their story was immortalized in a 2005 children’s book.

Meanwhile, Silo ditched Roy last year for Scrappy, a California gal. Wednesday’s report left some readers worried about Roy, after the Observer quoted a New York Times report saying he “has been seen alone, in a corner, staring at a wall.”

Roy remains a bachelor, says zoo spokeswoman Kate McIntyre. But she says readers shouldn’t fret.

“Penguins do that (look at the wall) when they don’t want to look at a visitor,” she said.

Silo and Scrappy nested together but failed to produce a chick. It seems Silo, a mature 19-year-old (penguins live to their mid-20s) took up with a much younger mate, who isn’t ready to reproduce.

Tango is 6 now and has found a mate of her own: Tazuni, another young female.

Ah….. what a “Will & Grace” ending.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)


Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:30 pm - December 22, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Mythology and the real world

Who Is Your Favorite Grande Conservative Blogress Diva?
Ann Althouse
The Anchoress
Little Miss Attila
Tammy Bruce
Dymphna of Gates of Vienna
Townhall’s Mary Katharine Ham
Sondra K of Knowledge Is Power
National Review’s Kathryn Lopez/K-Lo
Michelle Malkin
Virginia Postrel of Dynamist Blog
Kathy Shaidle of Relapsed Catholic
Alexandra von Maltzan of All Things Beautiful
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Let Kindness & Generosity be the Hallmark of your Holiday Season

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:20 pm - December 22, 2006.
Filed under: General,LA Stories

In her column today, Peggy Noonan imagines Brian Williams reporting on Santa’s journey this Christmas Eve. That NBC anchor concludes his fictive newscast, observing:

Santa comes to remind us that kindness and generosity can be a surprising gift from someone you don’t even know. To remind us that something can be a gift even if it arrives awkwardly, such as tumbling down a chimney. Maybe Santa comes just to touch our hearts.

I wish more people in LA paid attention to Santa’s reminder. We could use a little more kindness and generosity in this town.

Just yesterday, lunching at a local restaurant, I was amazed at the sullenness of the waitress. Perhaps she had had a bad day — or a busy holiday season. But her attitude seemed similar to that of so many others in her profession.

After my workout earlier today, I realized I would rather pay a few bucks more for a protein shake at the gym, then go over to the neighboring health food store where the shakes are cheaper, but where the staff tends to be as sullen and listless as my waitress yesterday.

That is, I would rather spend a buck or two extra and deal with a friendly clerk (at my gym), then have an indifferent clerk darken my day — and perhaps also delay my departure while she takes her time ringing up the customer before me.

At this time of year, we would all do well to let Santa be the reminder that Peggy’s Brian Williams imagines him to be. When we leave our homes and face our fellows, let us show them a little kindness, offer good wishes to a neighbor and smile at a stranger. And realize that if we so conduct ourselves in our professional lives, we may well increase our standing with our co-workers — and our clients.

Wishing all of you all a Merry Chanuka and a Happy Christmas, filled with good cheer and good friends, good health and much happiness.

B. Daniel Blatt (

ADDENDUM: While I normally check Peggy’s column every Friday, Peter alerted me to this one before I had check the OpinionJournal website so a hat-tip is in order.

Al-Qaeda’s #2 Takes Credit for Democrats Election Win

Is there any doubt left that al-Qaeda sees the Democrats as the party of concession and defeat?

Al Qaeda has sent a message to leaders of the Democratic party that credit for the defeat of congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists.

In a portion of the tape from al Qaeda No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, made available only today, Zawahri says he has two messages for American Democrats.

“The first is that you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen — the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq — are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost,” Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News.

Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help.

“And if you don’t refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate,” he said.

Since a number of Democrat politicians have been preening to Syria’s dictatorial government the past two weeks, I have no doubt that the Democras would look for a way to surrender to Osama bin Laden if they had the chance. 

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

GayPatriot hits 1,000,000; GayPatriots Absent

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:20 am - December 22, 2006.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse,Conservative Ideas

Well, as we’ve hit — and now exceeded — 1,000,000, your humble bloggers are nowhere to be found. While Bruce has been busy with work, I’ve been catching up after recovering from a terrible stomach ache. While my gastric troubles only put me out of commission for a few hours, they did so at a time when I had a number of pressing obligations.

The one thing I did learn from this experience is make sure that, especially when you’re terribly hungry, that you look inside the bun before you eat a cheeseburger at a restaurant where you’re dining for the first time. When I did check, after eating half the burger, I noticed the bun was coated with something resembling thousand island dressing — a sauce which does not sit well in my stomach.

I’ve always wondered why restaurants which advertise that their burger includes tomato, pickle and onion, neglect to mention that it includes a special sauce as well.

All that said, I’m delighted at the success this blog has enjoyed, that we have become a leading and recognized voice for a long-neglected segment of the American population, gay conservatives. I appreciate our regular readers and those bloggers who have linked us.

And I’m grateful for those critics who have taken the time to craft thoughtful rebuttals to our posts. While we have attracted our share of Snapdiggers, those left-wingers who frequent our blog, more to attack than to argue, we have attracted a good number of readers who regularly (and honorably) take issue with the points we raise. I salute them for spending time on a blog with whose ideas they tend to disagree and being civil in their rebuttals.

Despite our infrequent posts of late, even though we have crossed the 1,000,000 threshold, we’re going to keep on blogging, putting forward our opinions, engaging our critics and expanding our audience, ever grateful to those who take the time to read our work and consider our ideas.

– B. Daniel Blatt (