Hungarian firm fined over 'rainbow family' book amid LGBTQ storm

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 08 2021 07:39 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary - A Hungarian firm has been fined for not providing a parental guidance warning on a children's book about same-sex parents, hours before a controversial anti-LGBT law comes into force, a government official said Tuesday.

The storybook, a Hungarian translation of "Early One Morning" by US author Lawrence Schimel, concerns a LGBTQ-parented family and was published by the Foundation for Rainbow Families civil group.

But the unnamed distribution firm infringed an Unfair Commercial Practices Act according to a government official and must pay a fine of 250,000 (700 euros, $825). 

"This book was placed among other books of fairy tales and hence infringed the law," Richard Tarnai, a government-appointed county commissioner, told the HirTV news channel on Tuesday.

It "did not show that the stories contained patterns of behaviour other than traditional gender roles" he said.

The book's publisher said Wednesday: "Every family deserves to have a fairytale about them.

"Rainbow families are completely normal,...the sexuality of parents is not a topic in the book," said the publisher in a Facebook post.

The fine comes amid a storm at home and abroad over a Hungarian law coming into force Thursday, which critics say conflates homosexuality with paedophilia.

The "anti-paedophilia" legislation which bans the "display or promotion" of homosexuality to minors and restricts both sex education in schools and media content has been widely criticized.

On Wednesday, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen labelled it a "disgrace" and warned of consequences if it is not rectified.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose ruling Fidesz party introduced the bill, insists the law is about child protection, but rights groups say it discriminates against citizens on the basis of sexual orientation.


© Agence France-Presse

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