Hungary fines distributor over book with “Rainbow Families”

By Kanyi M

Hungarian authorities have issued a fine to the distributor of a children’s book featuring families headed by same-sex parents.  The fine was reliant upon a law prohibiting unfair commercial practices and has sparked a debate over recent government steps seen limiting the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.

Flickr: Benson Kua

The government is now under scrutiny after passing legislation last month that prohibits the depiction of homosexuality to minors. The LGBTQIA+ community has taken this as an attack on them and as a violation of the European Union Values.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke to the European parliament in Strasbourg, called the law a “disgrace,” and warned the Hungarian government that the European Union’s Executive arm would use all power to uphold European law.

 Lawrence Schimel and Elina Braslina

The distributor of “What A Family,” a combined translation of Lawrence Schimel- an American author’s books, “Early One Morning” and “Bedtime, Not Playtime.” The books depict the daily routines of a child, one with two mothers and the other with two fathers.

The Budapest County official told commercial television station HirTV that the book violated rules and “contained content which deviates from the norm.” However, in a Facebook post, the Foundation for Rainbow Families wrote that “rainbow families are perfectly normal, ordinary families.” The post added that “the storybook is just about simple ordinary events and the sexuality of the parents isn’t even a theme.

Schimel, the author of the books translated into Hungarian, argued that it was important for all kids, not just those in same-sex families, to see these families featured in books just as they are in the world.