Children’s books with LGBT themes stripped from library shelves by HK gov’t
A number of children’s books with LGBTQ+ themes have been stripped away from Hong Kong’s public libraries and kept from public view, following months of insistence and pressure from an anti-gay-rights group.
The group, identified as the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group, expressed its wishes to have 10 children’s books that featured same-sex parents taken down from The Hong Kong Public Libraries. This request involved months of allegedly pressuring the Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong government.
The group marked its “victory” on its Facebook page last June 19, where the group shared that it has conveyed its concern about the possession of “homosexual and cross-gender children’s books in public libraries” via correspondence and public action.
“Recently, it (Home Affairs Bureau) has committed itself to keeping these books in the closed shelf. In other words, they are no longer placed on shelves available to children at any time, and readers who need to borrow will have to read them to staff,” continued the statement.
The anti-gay-rights group also shared to the public the response of the authorities from the Home Affairs Bureau. Leung Yuen-Han, secretary for Home Affairs, wrote that library professionals have examined the contents of three of the books, and although they have decided to keep these in circulation, they have resorted to keep the books in “closed shelves.”
The remaining seven books will be maintained as part of the library collections, but will also be stored in closed shelves. Yuen-Han added that the change in arrangements have been completed in all the branches of the Hong Kong Public Libraries.
“That is, individual readers will be required to visit their staff,” wrote Yuen-Han. “When parents choose suitable reading and reading for their children, they are free to choose whether they can read books and give proper guidance or interpretation to children.” JB
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