Waldlaw Blog

Friday, August 19, 2005

Have You Heard the One About the Lesbian Swans?

In this, Massachusetts' second year of allowing same-sex couples to marry, the debate on same-sex marriage -- in Boston anyway -- has taken a turn for the avian. For many years, one of the main attractions in the Boston Public Gardens has been a pair of amorous swans, commonly referred to as Romeo and Juliet. They are popular for their beauty and, of course, because the Public Gardens is famous for its swans and swan boats as a result of the children's classic Make Way for Ducklings. Well, it was just discovered that the current pair of swans, who spent the spring dutifully preparing a nest and then guarding their eggs, are actually both females. (Needless to say, at least for those of you familiar with basic biology, the eggs didn't hatch, since they were not fertilized at any point along the way....) Boston makes a big deal about its swans. There is an annual parade each spring when the swans are moved from their winter home at Franklin Park Zoo back to the Public Gardens, with an accompanying festival for the kids. The swan parade and festival are advertised widely as a "family friendly" tourist attraction. So now what?? Some are suggesting that the Park Department should come up with some male swans to add to the mix -- some genuine Romeos. But the swans seem happy, by all accounts. So chalk it up to nature -- Bostonians need to get used to their loving pair of lesbian swans. And let's hope that the parade is just as big next year, and the festival just as festive, and that the swans don't suddenly get an "R" rating now that we know the truth about them. For the full story, courtesy of The Boston Globe, go to: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/08/12/thou_art_no_romeo/


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