Singapore's state-run libraries have
deemed three gay-themed children's books inappropriate.
Citing complaints against the books,
the National Library Board, which runs 26 libraries in Singapore,
pulled the books from the shelves and said it would destroy the
Similar themes about gay families run
through the books, which are And Tango Makes Three, The
White Swan Express and Who's In My Family: All About Our
And Tango Makes Three was
inspired by the real-life story of a penguin family with two fathers
living in New York's zoo.
On Friday, the government backed the
decision to scrap the books.
“The prevailing norms, which the
overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching
children about conventional families, but not about alternative,
non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are
about,” Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim
is quoted as saying by the AP.
“Societies are never static, and will
change over time,” he added. “But NLB's approach is to reflect
existing social norms, and not to challenge or seek to change them.”
Thousands of people have joined an
online petition asking the library to reverse course.
Gay sex is a criminal offense in
Singapore, though the law, a holdover from British colonial rule, is