Hungary fines bookshop chain depicting LGBT families in book

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jul 09, 2021, 03:46 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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Pest county commissioner Richard Tarnai told television station Hír TV that Líra Könyv had violated rules on unfair commercial practices by failing to indicate that the book contained “content which deviates from the norm”

In a strange incident, a bookshop chain in Hungary has been fined for selling a children’s story which depicts a day in the life of a child with same-sex parents. The officials condemned the picture book for featuring such families.

Named as 'Micsoda család!', the book is a Hungarian translation combining two titles by US author Lawrence Schimel and illustrator Elīna Brasliņa: Early One Morning. It shows a young boy’s morning with his two mothers, and Bedtime, Not Playtime!, in which a young girl with two fathers is reluctant to go to sleep.

Pest county commissioner Richard Tarnai told television station Hír TV that Líra Könyv had violated rules on unfair commercial practices by failing to indicate that the book contained “content which deviates from the norm”.

Tarnai was quoted by The Guardian saying, "The book was there among other fairytale books and thus committed a violation.

There is no way of knowing that this book is about a family that is different than a normal family.”

Also read | China deletes LGBTQ university accounts from biggest social media app Wechat

Speaking with The Guardian, he said that the idea for the books was to “celebrate queer families, to put more queer joy into the world so that the only books available to children weren’t about conflicts”.

Schimel, who is the author told Reuters, it was significant that his book had come under 'attack' just before the new law targeting LGBTQ+ rights enters into force.

As per a Facebook post, the Lyra Group is investigating the possibility of legal response, mainly due to the general consequences of the decision. According to the book market rules, ensuring the legal purity of a book is always the task of the publishing house, bookstores cannot check the content.

 

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