Singapore national library pulps kids books about gay parenting

The national library of Singapore is planning to pulp three children’s books because they are seen as promoting homosexuality.

One of the books is “And Tango Makes Three”, which is based on the true story of two male penguins which raised a chick in a New York Zoo.

The others are “White Swan Express”, about children adopted by straight, gay, single and mixed-race parents, and “Who’s in My Family” which features gay couples.

The National Library Board has 26 public libraries stocking five million books.

The books to be pulped are against its “pro-family” stance, the NLB stated, adding that its decision came after a complaint by a parent and an internal review.

The move has angered Singapore’s arts and literary community, where it has been labelled “book burning”.

Prominent local writer Ng Yi-Sheng said the NLB should have reached a “compromise solution, such as putting the books in adult lending or even the reference section”.

A group of writers scheduled to speak at an NLB event about humour pulled out in protest.

But Singapore’s information minister Yaacob Ibrahim said in a Facebook post the NLB’s decision was “guided by community norms”.

Sex between men is illegal in Singapore and is punishable by up to two years in jail under a provision in the penal code dating back to British colonial rule.

Singapore officials have promised that the city’s gay community will not be hounded under this law.

But it has not been repealed because most of the city-state’s citizens still do not accept homosexuality.

A survey of 4000 citizens by the government-linked Institute of Policy Studies earlier this year found that 78.2 per cent of Singaporeans believe same-sex relations are wrong.

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Catholic Archbishop William Goh apologised for being insensitive to same-sex people in a pastoral letter.

In the letter, he wrote that the LGBT lifestyle is detrimental to society and contrary to Christian values.

In a later clarification, he said in using words like “detrimental” and “destructive”, he was referring to same-sex couples adopting children.

The Church does not disapprove of a loving relationship between same-sex individuals that is chaste and faithful, the archbishop explained.


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