The Associated Press

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. Roosters free to crow at dawn now owe a debt to the fight against sexism.

A proposal to ban roosters, but not hens, from residential neighborhoods was rejected by the city Board of Health.

Under current rules, chickens of whatever gender are allowed in residential neighborhoods.

Monday's 2-1 vote was feathered with fowl puns and jokes about anti-male bias in this city known for a large lesbian community and all-women Smith College.

"Where else but Northampton would we vote to get rid of the male of the species?" asked board chairman John Joyce.

Board member Michael Parsons was wary of the whole issue.

"I think we should table it," Parsons said.

"That's where chickens belong: on the table," clucked Joyce.

Health Agent Peter McErlain said the proposal was prompted by a complaint over the morning crowing of two roosters. The Board of Health has traditionally adopted rules on animals.

The final vote fell along gender lines, with Dr. Anne Bures the only board member voting to exile the male of the species. Read Next Article