BUDAPEST – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Sunday that homosexuals should “leave our children alone” when asked about a children’s book containing gay characters that was publicly shredded by a far-right politician.
“Hungary has laws pertaining to homosexuality, the basis of which is an exceptionally tolerant and patient approach,” Orban said during a regular interview on public radio.
“But there is a red line that you cannot cross,” Orban said, referring to the book as a “provocative act”.
“To sum up my opinion on this: leave our children alone,” he said.
The remarks were prompted by a row over a children’s story book published by an LGBT association entitled “Storyworld is for everyone” that included gay characters.
A collection of stories based on well-known tales, the book’s main characters are drawn from marginalized and disadvantaged minorities, including the LGBT community.
In one story Cinderella is lesbian, while a transgender dragon-slayer appears in another.
A conservative group called for the book to be pulled from shelves, while a far-right politician called it “homosexual propaganda” and shredded a copy at a news conference.
The stunt was condemned by the Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers’ Association, who compared it to “Nazi book burners and Communist book shreds”.