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Lyle Shelton has accused Sydney's iconic penguin gay couple of a showmance

Velentina Boulter

| Last updated 

Lyle Shelton has accused Sydney's iconic penguin gay couple of a showmance

Australian conservative and Family First National Director Lyle Shelton has come out and attacked Sydney's legendary gay penguin couple.

Previously, it was announced that Sphen and Magic, from Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, will be featured in an optional syllabus designed to teach kids in New South Wales about diversity within relationships and sexuality.

The two Gentoo male penguins have been in a committed relationship since 2018 and have even fostered their own chick.

The six lesson plans, designed by the NSW Teachers Federation in collaboration with Sea Life Sydney, are called ‘Sphengic: Love in All Shapes and Sizes.’


And while the lessons were met with mostly positive responses from teachers, parents and students, Shelton didn’t quite seem as impressed by the inclusion of the lovestruck penguins.

"Fake gay penguins Sphen and Magic are being used to indoctrinate children,” the former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby said.

According to Shelton, all those pebbles Sphen and Magic adorably found for each other were just a set-up.


In a statement on the Family First website, the political party accused Sea Life Sydney of essentially stopping the two male penguins from finding a female mate.

“So, when these two were given eggs to incubate together, this would have encouraged them to stay together for future breeding cycles and effectively stopped them from seeking out female partners.”

However, according to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium website, the two penguins began developing a “strong bond” and became “inseparable before breeding season."

The Family First party wrote that they stand 'completely opposed to all forms of propaganda being taught in schools and especially so when it comes to discussions on sexuality and diverse relationships.'


Though, according to the NSW Teachers Federation, the program is not compulsory and is 'aligned with the NSW syllabus' meaning teachers and parents can choose to opt out of the program if they wish.

“Gentoo penguins are the ultimate romantics, and their dating techniques are truly unique,” said Sea Life London manager Catherine Pritchard in an interview with the BCC where there are two happy female same-sex couples.

“We could certainly learn a thing or two from their passion and commitment to finding a mate.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/ Sea Life Sydney Aquarium / Instagram/ Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Topics: News, Australia, LGBTQ

Velentina Boulter
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