Sphen, Magic and their baby, born in October at Sea Life Sydney. (Photo by Sea Life Sydney)

The Gay Penguins of Australia 
The New York Times 

“We’re not going to discourage any companionship for our penguins,” says Amy Lawrie, chief penguin keeper at the Sea Life Sydney aquarium in Australia. “Love is love.” 

So when Sphen and Magic, two male penguins, began their species’ mating rituals—bowing to each other, bringing each other pebbles and singing—no one stood in their way. 

Now the two are parents, and pretty good ones at that. They were given an egg that had been neglected by others, and it was the only one to hatch in Sea Life Sydney’s penguin colony. They sing to the chick, feed it and tuck it in for the night.

(Read The New York Times story here.)

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. (Photo via Facebook)

Could Pete Buttigieg Become the First Millennial President? 
The Washington Post 

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The man that New York Times columnist Frank Bruni once predicted could be the first gay president is taking steps to make it happen. 

Pete Buttigieg, the 36-year-old openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., is a Harvard grad, a Rhodes scholar, a U.S. Navy veteran of the war in Afghanistan and potentially the first member of the Millennial generation to seek the White House.

“I think the new generation that emerges now will have a different kind of seriousness about the future,” he says.

(Read The Washington Post story here.)

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver passed away on Jan. 17, 2019. (Photo by Penguin Press)

Mary Oliver Helped Us Stay Amazed 
The New Yorker 

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver died on Jan. 17 at age 83. She endured a difficult childhood in the Cleveland suburb of Maple Heights to become, as The New Yorker’s appreciation called her, “one of the most beloved poets of her generation.” 

Her passing was noted by Hillary Clinton (“Thank you, Mary Oliver, for giving so many of us words to live by”) and Madonna (“Her words were a bridge from Nature to the Spiritual World”), as well as her neighbors in Provincetown, where she lived for years with her partner, Molly Malone Cook. 

“When it’s over, I want to say all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. / I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms,” Oliver wrote in “When Death Comes.” 

“I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world,” she wrote. 

(Read The New Yorker appreciation here.)

Mary C. Daly is the first out lesbian to lead a Federal Reserve bank. (Photo courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

How a High School Dropout Became President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve 
The Washington Post 

“Don’t give up just because people say nobody like you has ever done it,” a mentor once told Mary C. Daly. The woman who is now president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve was a high school dropout at the time who aspired to become a bus driver. 

Daly, the first out lesbian to lead a Federal Reserve regional bank, says she thinks everyday about what her life would have been without her education.  

She places a priority on mentoring others and boosting college graduation rates in the United States. 

(Read The Washington Post story here.)

U.S. Rep. Marc Pocan represents Madison, Wis. (Photo via Facebook)

Gay Congressman’s Bill Would Strike Out Male Presidential Pronouns  
The Advocate 

Women and gay men aren’t forbidden from serving as president. But at leasrt one federal law assumes they won’t. 

U.S. Rep. Marc Pocan, an openly gay Democrat from Wisconsin, has introduced legislation in Congress to amend a law about Secret Service protection for former presidents and their families that uses male pronouns for former leaders and female words and pronouns for their spouses. 

“In 2016, one of the two major party candidates for President was a woman with a husband and in 2020, for the first time in history, we may have more presidential candidates who are women than men, as well as a potential LGBTQ candidate who is married,” Pocan said. 

(Read The Advocate story here.)