The fairytale book containing classical fairy tales featuring minorities, including sexual minorities as main characters is still on the Hungarian political agenda. Not only are far-right circles petitioning against the book and the bookstores where it can be bought, but also PMO Head Gergely Gulyás suspects child endangerment and a Fidesz politician in Budapest has banned the book from the district’s kindergartens.
In the PMO Chief’s view, “…the question is whether there is a place for homosexual propaganda among children or not, and I think, not.” At his regular press briefing, Gergely Gulyás said that it should be examined whether the presence of the book in kindergartens and schools qualifies as child endangerment. “If it does, then educational institutions are committing a crime by showing it to children,” he explained.
Gulyás’ remarks came on the heels of the Prime Minister’s statement, who said that “Hungary is tolerant and patient regarding homosexuality. But there is a red line that shouldn’t be crossed, and that is how I would like to sum up my opinion: leave our children alone,” Orbán said.
In reaction to Gulyás, the book’s publisher, the Labrisz Lesbian Association rebuffed that it would harm children in any way. “We condemn that the Prime Minister and government politicians use LGBTQ people to spread their hateful propaganda. We believe that children should not be protected from LGBT people, but rather from those who, through their exclusionary, hateful, all-black-and-all-white way of thinking, negatively affect and limit children’s natural empathy, openness, and curiosity about the diversity of the world, and raise fear in them with their aggressive behavior,” their statement reads.
It had been made public on Tuesday as well, that Csepel (Budapest’s 21st district) mayor Lénárd Borbély (of ruling Fidesz) banned the book from the district’s kindergartens, arguing that they want to “defend Csepel’s children.”
However, 6th district leader Tamás Soproni (Momentum), besides ironically labeling Borbély’s move ‘heroic,’ claimed that it was rather Fidesz that was dangerous for children, arguing that the governing party hasn’t raised the family allowance since ten years ago and ruined the educational system.
Minor atrocities were also something not unheard of. On Tuesday, far-right Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (HVIM) activists stuck leaflets reading: “ATTENTION! This bookstore sells homosexual propaganda DANGEROUS FOR CHILDREN” on several bookstores selling the book. This move once again has a very dark symbolism in the eyes of many, after last week’s public book shredding.
Berlin 1938? Nein. Budapest, 2020.
Közzétette: Diétás Magyar Múzsa – 2020. október 6., kedd
This move was condemned by the Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers’ Association (MKKE). The organization raised its voice after the book shredding as well, and revealed that they and other bookstores alike are receiving an increasing number of threats. Their statement says that as a 225 year-old Hungarian civil organization, they are “patient and tolerant enough with political organizations unable to accept the diversity in the content of books. There is, however, a limit that cannot be crossed. Leave bookstores alone!”
Over the weekend, a public reading (announced by actor Kriszta Szalai) of the children’s book had to be called-off (or held without spectators) after far-right Mi Hazánk and György Budaházy’s circles organized a demonstration on the same site, with the approval and assistance of the police. Organizers called off the reading so as not to expose children and their parents to the abuse of extremists.
featured image: the book’s presentation; via Labrisz- Facebook