http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,18823887%255E662,00.htmlPHILLIP Island's iconic fairy penguins have been renamed "little penguins" in Queensland to avoid offending the gay community.
In an act of political correctness gone overboard, Sea World theme park operators on the Gold Coast changed the name of their star attraction to avoid being "offensive".
Rebecca Smith, spokeswoman for Sea World, confirmed: "We didn't want to upset the gay community.
"We didn't have any complaints about the name of the penguins, but someone thought it could be seen as offensive so we decided to change it to little penguin instead.
"The name is more politically correct. We're not treating it as a big issue."
But the name change has had the opposite effect. Queensland's gay community described it as ridiculous and unnecessary.
"If they were called poofter penguins or something more direct, it might be a problem. But I don't see the name fairy penguin as a mickey take," Kamahl Fox, chairman of gay support group Gold Coast Breakers, said.
On Phillip Island, where the colony of 60,000 penguins attracts 500,000 visitors a year, operators are quietly amused by the Queenslanders' sensitivities.
"Technically, the name little penguin is closer to their scientific title, Eudyptula (meaning "good little diver") minor, so we do call them that as well," Phillip Island Nature Park spokeswoman Sally O'Neill said.
"But it's nothing to do with the gay community.
"And the parade is still widely known as the fairy penguin parade."
Fairy penguins are found only in the southern hemisphere – particularly off Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. They were given the common name "fairy penguin" almost 100 years ago as the smallest of all penguin species.
Gay lobbyist Ms Fox said: "I don't think our community is sensitive about those things. Sea World deals with kids and children love fairies, so they should have left the name as it was. It's cuter."
Another gay-rights group spokesman said "fairy" had not been offensive to gay people for about 30 years. And a spokeswoman for gay and bisexual teenagers said young people grew up recognising the birds as fairy penguins.
Judith Henke, spokeswoman for Melbourne Zoo, said the zoo's fairy penguins were properly titled "little blue penguins", but she added that it hadn't "crossed anybody's mind to rename them because of the gay community".
This is almost as bad as Bar bar Rainbow sheep.(I wonder where that rainbow sheep want his bar put to )
Sorry about that joke, the rainbow sheep is next to go because it will be gay
Is it just me or is this political correctness getting out of hand?