'And Tango Makes Three' Authors Have Baby of Their Own
"In February, the gay couple, who live in the West Village, had their first child. The baby, Gemma Parnell-Richardson, was born to a surrogate mother, the egg fertilized by sperm from one of the men. (Which one was left to chance.)...Gemma was born in Massachusetts because the state allows both fathers’ names on the birth certificate without an adoption process. (In addition, New York State does not allow women to be paid to be surrogate mothers.)"
According to the American Library Association, more attempts were made (by right-wingers angry with the book's message about successful gay parents) to remove And Tango Makes Three from library shelves in 2006, 2007, and 2008 than any other book.
And Tango Makes Three tells the story of how Roy and Silo, in an attempt to raise a child of their own, try in vain to sit on a stone so it will hatch. When zookeepers notice this, they give the two gay penguins an egg from another mother that has no bird to care for it. Roy and Silo then take turns sitting on the egg until they have a chick. The story is true and based on two chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan.
City Room writes: "On Saturday, Mr. Richardson and Mr. Parnell read their book in Chicago for Banned Books Week, an annual event the association sponsors to draw attention to issues of intellectual freedom. 'Unlike gays in the military, gays at the altar, the government is squarely behind us this time; the Constitution is squarely behind us,' Mr. Richardson said. This year, the birth of Gemma gave their annual reading special resonance, the men said. 'Two plucky characters want something that seems totally out of reach,' Mr. Richardson said. 'They try and try and try and ultimately they succeed.'"