Books including 'Daddy, Papa and Me', 'The Boy in the Dress', and 'Milly, Molly and Different Dads' were removed
A judicial review has been filed against Hong Kong Public Library for removing LGBTQ-themed children’s books.
According to HKFP, Hong Kong Public Library is facing a judicial review for its decision to remove ten LGBTQ-themed children’s books.
Library user Lee Tak-hung who filed the judicial review, says the library’s decision violates human rights and Basic Law.
Vox reports that books including Daddy, Papa and Me, The Boy in the Dress, and Milly, Molly and Different Dads were among those moved to “closed stacks” and are only available upon request.
Other affected books include And Tango Makes Three, Molly’s Family, The Family Book, Introducing Teddy, Annie on My Mind, and Good Moon Rising.
An organization called the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group demanded the books to be removed because they were “spreading unethical homosexual messages.”
Lee filed the writ to the Court of First Instance on Tuesday. Hong Kong laws and international agreements protect freedom of speech and freedom to engage in cultural activities, which Lee says the library’s decision inhibits.
Offering his own experience, Lee said he became aware of LGBTQ issues at public libraries, where he read positive and negative portrayals. He emphasised that libraries are an important source of information.
Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Michelle Li Mei-sheung, and the Collection Development Meeting of Hong Kong Public Libraries were listed as resopndents.
Hong Kong’s equality watchdog, the Equal Opportunities Commission said the decision was an unnecessary move that may place “new limits on children’s access to books.”
Activist groups have rejected the claim. Ray Chan, Hong Kong’s first openly gay lawmaker, said at a protest on Sunday, “this is definitely a form of differential treatment, which is based on the discrimination of sexual minorities and their families.”
LGBTQ rights group Pink Alliance CEO Reggie Ho said, “the right of society at large to have access to knowledge, information and research should not be restricted because of protests from people who want to impose their beliefs on others.”