Hong Kong’s LGBTI community and its allies will take to the streets this Sunday to protest the removal of LGBTI-themed children’s books from public libraries.
Earlier this week it was revealed Home Affairs Bureau had caved into pressure from a lobby group to remove ten titles from its shelves. It complained the ‘Book Collection of the Children’s Libraries that Promote Homosexuality’ shouldn’t be publicly accessible. The books’ topics ranged from rainbow families to gender identity.
Home Affairs agreed to store the books on a ‘closed shelf’ where people could only access them after they directly asked library staff. But it refused to remove the books entirely from libraries because the books’ topics were ‘neutral’ and public had a right to information.
For the LGBTI community however, that is not good enough.
A coalition of organizations has come together to protest the decision. They have called the coalition, United Front for Open Libraries.
‘The practices of the Home Affairs Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department are puzzling and contradictory. Since the books are “neutral”, why do they still need to be kept in closed stack?’ United Front said in a statement.
United Front is planning a series of actions to reverse the decision including a protest.
The group and its supporters plan to protest outside the Hong Kong Central Library at 3pm on 24 June. There they will submit petition letters and written statements to the officers concerned.
After the news broke of the library’s decision, a social media campaign to overturn it has started to gain momentum.
The #FreeMyLibrary has garnered support from LGBTI activists around the world.
— Jo Hirst (@thegenderfairy1) June 22, 2018