Outing the fruit fly

This column is recommended for adult audiences only.

Let’s play a little game of morality gymnastics. Just for fun.

Here’s how we start. Let’s say I do not believe in homosexuality. Which means that I do not approve of it. That I am, in fact, opposed to it and even repulsed by the idea.

Let’s say that I believe it is against the laws of nature and denounced in the Bible. I’ll display one of those bumper stickers that say, “God declared it. The Bible says it. I believe it and that does it.”

Period. End of discussion. Close the mind and go home.

Let’s say that I am adamantly opposed to the notion of same-sex relationships, same-sex marriages, gays in the military, gays in the church — no gay priests or bishops, thank you very much — and definitely no gays in education because what if they start recruiting?

Then let’s say I tune in one evening to the Sundance Network and discover it is running films in honor of National Gay Pride Month.

Whoever heard of such a thing, National Gay Pride Month? Awarding this abomination dignity right beside National Prune Month or National Return Carts to the Grocery Store Month?

I am still staggering from that assault when I open The Wall Street Journal and the Tulsa World and read about not one but two scientific studies that have documented same-sex relationships among other of God’s creatures. Well, that’s the liberal media for you. Now what are we supposed to tell the kids about the birds and the bees?

These scientists tell us about their discoveries of homosexuality in nature. They write about same-sex behavior among dolphins, penguins, killer whales and manatees. They write about gay ducks, gay geese and gay sheep (a real problem, I understand, for sheep breeders).

According to the scientific journal “Trends in Ecology and Evolution,” when two female albatrosses raise chicks, they are more successful at it than a single female. That’s a good thing, because nearly one-third of the female Laysan albatrosses in Hawaii form same-sex relationships.

Worldwide, some scientists say, 450 species have been identified as engaging in same-sex behavior. Giraffes are notorious for it. Eighty percent of interactions between male giraffes are sexual.

Pink flamingos, at least the males, often spend part of their lives in same-sex relationships, from courtship to raising the young. But it is a small percentage compared to a species of Japanese monkeys — one-third of the female Barbary macaque monkeys evidently chose other females as their longtime friends.

Worms, frogs, locusts — scientists are dragging them all out of the closet.

The scientists have even outed the lowly fruit fly.

Ogden Nash wrote a little poem titled “The Fly.” Here it is in its entirety:

“God in his wisdom made the fly.

And then forgot to tell us why.”

As a tribute to Ogden Nash, I have written a little poem myself. I wrote it while I was giddy with this new perspective of the world of nature — almost drunk with these revelations from the scientific community.

Here is my poem about the fruit fly:

“God made the fruit fly

Toujours gay and fruity

Rejoice and be glad little fly

And shake your little booty.”


Connie Cronley is the author of four books, commentator for public radio 89.5 FM and a columnist for TulsaPeople.

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