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Germany's gay vulture uproar
Gay rights groups are angry at a Münster zoo for breaking up a happy nest — but is splitting up gay vultures really a sign of intolerance?
 
For a pair of griffon vultures, theirs was a love that dare not speak its name.
For a pair of griffon vultures, theirs was a love that dare not speak its name.
Corbis

The petty controversy: Allwetter Zoo in Münster, Germany, has angered gay rights groups by splitting up Guido and Detlef, a happily domesticated pair of male griffon vultures (an endangered species) and pairing them with females in the hopes of encouraging procreation. Guido was shipped 400 miles away to the Czech Republic, and a Czech female was flown in to mate with Detlef, who is "reorienting himself now," according to zookeeper Dirk Wewers, who says that male vultures look for companionship from another male if a "suitable female" is missing. So far, neither of the birds has shown much interest in his new mate.
The reaction:
"Cue the Brokeback Mountain theme song" for these love birds, says Nick Mattos in Just Out. Still, maybe the zookeeper is right. Another pair of gay vultures, broken up in Jerusalem last year, have both produced offspring since. I guess that's good, since griffon vultures are "on the brink of dying out," says Tammye Nash in Dallas Voice. But "it just doesn't seem right to me to separate what was obviously a loving couple for the sake of making some baby vultures."

 

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