Singapore Single Mum Fights LGBT Childrens’ Book Ban

tango makes three its perfectly normal

Singapore’s National Library Board has attracted controversy after banning a number of childrens’ books due to their LGBT content.

The books include ‘And Tango Makes Three’, about two male penguins who raise a chick together and ‘The White Swan Express’, which follows the stories of several adoptions, including one child who is adopted by a lesbian couple, amongst others.

The NLB pulled the titles from their shelves following a complaint from Teo Kai Loon, a member of the Facebook group ‘We Are Against Pinkdot in Singapore’. Pinkdot is Singapore’s annual LGBTI Festival.

Teo Kai Loon wrote on the Facebook page in question that the NLB had responded to his complaint within two days, and included a transcript of the email he was sent in response, which stated in part that the books had been removed because they did not comply with the organisations “pro-family” stance.

Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim defended the NLB’s decision in a statement:

“NLB’s decision was guided by community norms. Public libraries serve the community and it is right that they give consideration to community norms,” he said in a post that the NLB shared in its Facebook page.

“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.

“Like in other societies, there is considerable effort by some in Singapore to shift these norms, and equally strong pushback by those who don’t wish to see change.

“Societies are never static, and will change over time. But NLB’s approach is to reflect existing social norms, and not to challenge or seek to change them.”

Jaxe Pan, a Singaporean single mother, posted a picture of herself and her daughter holding a sign addressed to Ibrahim in response:

singapore mom Pan also wrote a message accompanying the image, which has been shared over 6,000 times on Facebook and Twitter.

“My daughter and I have a very close relationship,” she wrote.

“Even though there are only two of us, we are bonded in love and kinship and we are a real family.

“Together with many friends I know who are single parents, adopted parents, blended-family parents, homosexual men and women, we are real, and we live alongside other Singaporeans from traditional men-woman union, making the same contribution to our country.

“I fear that other children would only recognise a singular family model, and regard my daughter as alien.”

A number of petitions have been started calling for the books to return to library shelves.

Author Donald Lowe pulled out of the Singapore Writers’ festival in protest of the NLB’s decision.

“‘I see no evidence of a significant segment of Singapore society objecting to these books being in our public libraries, even if the majority of Singaporeans are conservative,’ he said.

‘I’ve always believed that Singapore society is generally tolerant, open and relaxed about people whose sexual orientations are different from ours — even if we don’t agree with them.’

Sophie Joske

‘I see no evidence of a significant segment of Singapore society objecting to these books being in our public libraries, even if the majority of Singaporeans are conservative,’ he said.

‘I’ve always believed that Singapore society is generally tolerant, open and relaxed about people whose sexual orientations are different from ours — even if we don’t agree with them.’

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/singapore-single-mom-fights-back-against-ban-gay-friendly-books130714#sthash.LvaujAst.dpuf

‘My daughter and I have a very close relationship,’ she wrote.

‘Even though there are only two of us, we are bonded in love and kinship and we are a real family.

‘Together with many friends I know who are single parents, adopted parents, blended-family parents, homosexual men and women, we are real, and we live alongside other Singaporeans from traditional men-woman union, making the same contribution to our country.

‘I fear that other children would only recognise a singular family model, and regard my daughter as alien.’

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/singapore-single-mom-fights-back-against-ban-gay-friendly-books130714#sthash.LvaujAst.dpuf

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