The Hungarian government has fined a publisher 250,000 Forint (approximately €700) over their publication of a Hungarian translation of an LGBTQ+ children’s novel.
The publisher distributed a Hungarian translation of American author Lawrence Schimel’s two-part series Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime which follows two sets of children with LGBTQ+ parents.
The fine was issued by the Pest County Government Office and comes after the Hungarian government enacted a law that prohibits the depiction of LGBTQ+ people to minors.
The law is set to take effect today, has received plenty of scrutiny from LGBTQ+ organisations both in Hungary and abroad. The law has also been described by European Union officials as a direct rebuking of EU values.
The combined Hungarian translation of Schimel’s two-part series depicts two children, one with two mothers and another with two fathers.
A representative for The Pest County Government Office, responsible for the areas surrounding the country’s capital Budapest, explained on the television station HirTV that the publisher Foundation for Rainbow Families was fined for violating rules on commercial advertising, for failing to indicate that the LGBTQ+ book contained “content which deviates from the norm.”
Commissioner for The Pest County Government Office, Richard Tarnai, stated that: “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.”
In response, the publisher Foundation for Rainbow Families, articulated in a Facebook post that: “rainbow families are perfectly normal, ordinary families. The storybook is about simple, everyday events, and the sexuality of the parents is not even a theme.”
The fine plays into a wider issue relating to homophobia within the Hungarian government. The novel’s original author Lawrence Schimel described the practice of flagging content “which deviates from the norm” as “a pernicious concept, often used as a weapon to try to cultivate or justify prejudice and intolerance.”
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.