Hungary Targets Pro-LGBTQ Children’s Book in Orban Campaign


Hungary’s government chided the publisher of a children’s book that includes a lesbian Cinderella for not warning readers of content referring to non-traditional gender roles.

The book, titled Wonderland is for Everyone, recasts protagonists of traditional fairy tales into members of groups that often suffer discrimination, including gays and Roma. It was thrust into the national spotlight last year after a far-right politician shredded the book on camera.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said last year that the book crossed a red line by promoting homosexuality among children, followed it up with a constitutional amendment that effectively bans gay couples from adopting children.

“The book is sold as a children’s book in line with its title and cover but it’s not stated that the fairy tales present patterns of behavior that deviate from traditional gender roles,” the Budapest Metropolitan Government Agency, whose head is appointed by Orban, said in a statement published on the state news wire MTI on Tuesday.

“Consumers unwittingly may decide to purchase the book based on misleading information and may encounter content that goes beyond that of traditional fairy tales,” the agency said. It mandated the book’s publisher to make clear the content of the book.

Labrisz, the publisher, said it will challenge the ruling in court, which it said was discriminatory and violated the constitution by stigmatizing a marginalized group of society, according to an emailed statement.

Orban is following Poland in pivoting to an anti-gay agenda as he seeks to fire up his right-wing voters a year before elections. A majority of the most recent polls indicated that a united opposition is pulling ahead of the ruling party during the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier Orban spent years targeting immigrants in non-stop national campaigns that helped him secure a fourth term in the European Union member state.

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