Thursday, January 04, 2007

Against Nature?

this from Oslo:
It is not what you would expect to see when you take your children on a Sunday outing to the natural history museum: a giant photograph of one male giraffe humping another, or two whales sparring with giant penises. This, however, is Norway, where — for better or worse — the normal rules do not apply. Three years ago the Government told the country’s museums and libraries that they should do more to contribute to social debates and dare to tackle taboo subjects.

The results of that order are now coming through. One museum is staging an exhibition that debunks the national myth that every Norwegian was an heroic Resistance fighter in the Second World War. A second is planning an exhibition on Vidkun Quisling, the ultimate Norwegian collaborator. A third has an exhibition showing how badly Norway has treated Gypsies.

But the Natural History Museum in Oslo has gone one better....

It is staging a government-financed exhibition in its august halls that shows that homosexuality — far from being unnatural — is actually rampant in the animal world. Against Nature? is the first exhibition in the world dedicated to gay animals, claims Petter Bockman, its bearded and ponytailed scientific adviser, who also happens to be the University of Oslo’s leading — and only — frog expert (there are not many amphibians, gay or straight, this far north).
Apparently the Norwegian Naturhistorisk Museum has had enough of the silly claim that homosexuality is against nature. The presented an elaborate exhibit primarily designed to debunk the garbage science used by many bigots to attack gay folks. Apparently homosexual sex has been observed in over 1500 species of animals and well documented in 500+.

Reactions have been quite enthusiastic:

The museum’s attendance figures have soared in the month since the exhibition opened. It has received hundreds of e-mails from around the world, many from foreigners lamenting their own countries’ repressive attitude to homosexuality. The exhibition’s visitors book is full of similar sentiments. “Very interesting themes you are bringing up,” read one unsigned message, before adding: “PS, We had sex in the hall on the top floor of your museum.” Brockman was delighted. “Apparently someone got inspired,” he chuckled.

Wow.

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