An anti-LGBT group has revealed that copies of 10 children’s books about homosexuality and transgendered people have been moved to the closed stacks section of Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL). The move, made in response to complaints made by the Family School Sodo (Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance) concern group, was conducted last Friday, the group revealed on Tuesday.
The decision was made to ensure young people are “properly guided when consuming these reading materials”, said the Secretary for Home Affair Lau Kong-wa in a quoted response email to the Concern Group.
The books were discussed in detail and reviewed by HKPL’s Collection Developement Meeting after the concern group raised concerns, through letters and public actions, about the collection of children’s books on homosexuality and transgender issues being so readily available in public libraries.
Library users must now request the books – three junior fictions, The Boy in the Dress, Annie on My Mind, and Good Moon Rising, and seven picture books – from HKPL’s Reference and Information Service Counters.
Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, a spokesman from the group Rainbow Action Hong Kong, which defends the rights of sexual minorities, disagreed with the decision made by the Home Affairs Bureau.
“The collection only describes the fact that people of different sexual orientations exist, [it doesn’t] encourage children to be gay or transgender,” the gender activist told Young Post.
He added that there is “no logical reason or proof” that shows that the listed books would influence young readers’ sexual orientations. Moving the books to the closed stacks section is merely a “restriction of information exchange”.
“If parents [in the concerned group] are worried about their children consuming these materials, they should take the responsibility of choosing the right books for their children, instead of making it harder for the public to access them,” he said.