Singapore: National Library Board ‘saddened’ that people oppose them destroying ‘gay’ books

Nick Duffy July 13, 2014
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Singapore’s National Library Board says it is ‘saddened’ at people’s adverse reaction to the removal and destruction of gay-themed books.

Earlier this week the Board this week decided to remove and destroy all copies of And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book based on a true story about two male penguins who raise an abandoned penguin chick together at the New York Zoo.

Two other same-sex family themed books, The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption, and Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families were also withdrawn and pulped.

The move led to widespread criticism online, with many writers and rights groups attacking the decision as an act of censorship

The Board’s chief executive Elaine Ng told the Straits Times following the outrage: “I’m saddened by their disappointment in us. I would like to engage those who have worked with us for a long time and hope they will accept our outstretched hands in future.

“I understand that this is an issue that people feel strongly about but please, please also look to all the good things NLB has done over the years.

“NLB has done a lot over many years to build trust in the community and we want to continue working hard to build that trust and see what we can do to reclaim the trust of those who feel disappointed in us.”

49-year-old writer Cheong, who is protesting the move, said: “The only way forward is for NLB to at least recognise that pulping books is irrational and unacceptable, that there are ways these books can still be saved and made available to parents who would like to borrow them.”

Section 377A of the Singaporean Penal Code forbids male same-sex acts, although female same-sex sexual activity was legalised in 2007.

Although the law is sporadically enforced, a constitutional challenge against it was dismissed by courts last year.


Related topics: and tango makes three, Asia, books, censorship, destroy, Gay, library, penguins, pulp, Singapore, Singapore

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