The government of Hungary has ordered a publisher to include a disclaimer warning of LGBTQ+ content in a children’s book of fairy tales. According to a report in Reuters, the lesbian publishing group Labrisz must now include the disclaimer in the book, Wonderland is for Everyone, warning it contains “behavior inconsistent with traditional gender roles.” The order also requires Labrisz to place the disclaimer in all books containing similar LGBTQ+ themes.
“The book is sold as a fairy tale, called so on its cover and designed accordingly,” the Government Office in Budapest said in a statement. “But it hides the fact that it depicts behaviour inconsistent with traditional gender roles.”
Wonderland is for Everyone is an anthology of inclusive and affirming fairy tales that speak to a more diverse audience. Stories include a doe who wishes to become a buck, a bunny born with three ears, a Roma boy who finds love with a fair-haired boy, and Snow White reimagined as Leaf Brown.
Hungary has undergone a hard shift to the right in recent years. Under the leadership of homophobic Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his ruling Fidesz party, the country amended their constitution last December in a crackdown against the LGBTQ+ community. The new measures effectively prevent LGBTQ+ people from adopting children, codify a binary redefinition of family, restrict adoptions to married couples of a biological woman and man, and other discriminatory measures. The Hungarian parliament had earlier used emergency powers to pass legislation stating only “sex assigned at birth” would be recognized in official documents.
“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” David Vig, director of Amnesty Hungary, said in a statement at the time.
The hypocrisy of right wing Hungarian politics was exposed last December when homophobic right wing politician and Fidesz party cofounder József Szájer was briefly detained trying to escape a gay orgy in Belgium by shimmying down a drain pipe after the party was broken up by police. Szájer, who was found to be in possession of the drug ecstasy when arrested, was not charged but later resigned his positions.
Labrisz is not taking the decision without a fight and has teamed with the LGBTQ+ group Hatter to sue the government, claiming the order and disclaimer are unconstitutional and discriminatory.