Hungarian bookstore must pay 32,000 euros for selling LGBT book


Central Europe


An employee shows an illustrated page of the "Storyworld is for everyone" in a bookstore in Torokbalint near Budapest, Hungary. This book caused debate as well, because the main characters were also drawn from the LGBT community. Now, another book has led to penalties for a bookstore in the country. Photo AFP, Attila AFP

A Hungarian book chain received a fine of 12 million forints. The reason for this hefty sum is the sale of a children's book which contains LGBT scenes about two boys who are in love.

The Consumer Protection Office of the Budapest Government investigated the distribution of the controversial books by the Líra Kereskedelmi Kft. bookstore chain. It concluded that "although the books in question depicted homosexuality, they were nevertheless categorised as children's and young adult literature", Hungary Today reports. In addition, the authorities criticised the fact that the books of Alice Oseman were not sold in closed packaging so that every customer who entered the store could read them on the spot.

Gender change

By selling a book with LGBT content to children, the bookstore violated the Hungarian Child Protection Act, BBC reports. This Act aims to protect children against pornographic content or anything that promotes gender change or homosexuality. In addition, literature that does so may not be sold in the vicinity of kindergartens or schools, be displayed in shop windows, or be sold without closed packaging.

According to the Hungarian government, this law is necessary to protect children. However, critics say that it stigmatises lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the Guardian writes. Also, the European Union has been very critical of the law.

Nevertheless, the Hungarian government wants to tighten the law even more in autumn.



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