Hungarian authorities have fined a bookseller in Budapest for circulating material that contains LGBTQ+ content directed at minors.
The book, “Micsoda család!,” is a translation of two books by American author Lawrence Schimel and illustrator Elina Braslina, each featuring children who are raised by same-sex parents. A local bookstore chain, Líra Könyv, has been fined 250,000 forints ( around $830) for selling the book without warning customers that it contains material related to non-traditional families.
“The book was there among other fairytale books and thus committed a violation,” said Richard Tarnai, the commissioner of Pest country, in an interview with Hír TV. “There is no way of knowing that this book is about a family that is different than a normal family.”
Schimel, the author of the translated books, told Reuters that the fine “is a coordinated attack” and that the Hungarian government is “trying different methods in order to create fear about talking about rainbow families and other issues that exist in the world.”
The Guardian reports that the bookseller will put up a sign that warns customers that it sells “books with different content than traditional ones.”
The fine is enforceable under a new law which prohibits the circulating of material containing LGBTQ+ content to children. The law, which was passed in June, goes into effect Thursday. It has been widely criticized by members of the European Union.
Yesterday, LGBTQ+ activists vowed to fight the new law, and set up a 30-foot heart-shaped rainbow balloon across from Hungary’s parliament building.
“We think that the only path we can pursue is civil disobedience, and we will not change anything about our activities,” Luca Dudits, a representative of the LGBTQ+ advocacy group, Hatter Society, told the AP.