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Singapore pulls book about gay penguins from libraries

Singapore Pulls Book About Gay Penguins From Libraries

Singapore's National Library Board has pulled three children's books from libraries, including one about penguins. Why, you ask? (Via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0)

The books are about penguins and humans living alternative lifestyles - a highly controversial subject in the relatively conservative country.

According to the BBC one of the books is based on a true story of two male penguins at a zoo raising a baby penguin. Another book includes a lesbian couple in the story line, while the third book is about a bi-racial couple and their family.

It's not clear exactly what caused the government board to make the decision, but Time reports it might have followed after a library user's complaint.

On its Facebook page, the National Library Board defended its action saying: "[The] NLB takes a pro-family and cautious approach in identifying titles for our young visitors."

A Forbes contributor who grew up in the country criticized the decision saying: "Singapore has long upheld religious tolerance and racial harmony as a core tenet of the country. But to pretend a section of society doesn't exist, reeks of intolerance to me."

On top of that, a lawmaker in Singapore told the South China Morning Post she thinks the decision was made too quickly: " ... what is questionable here is that the authorities have decided to pulp the books based on a complaint, with no further review or consideration for other points of view."

The removal of the books has brought attention to some of the more repressive policies in place in that part of the world - specifically geared toward gays. Gay sex is illegal in Singapore, for example, although multiple outlets say it's rarely prosecuted.

Overall, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission says treatment of lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people in Asia includes: "electro shock treatment as aversion therapy, threats of rape to make you straight, ... police kidnapping, family violence, and media stigmatization."

Late last year in Dubai, a firefighter was on trial for what was described as a gay handshake with a fellow firefighter. The Huffington Post reports it was described that way because the firefighter shook the other man's hand while "tingling it with his middle finger."

Join the discussion

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tbplayer44 July 13 2014 at 9:08 PM

The cover photo tells a lie. Gay animals CANNOT procreate... that is why being Gay is not a natural act, as all species would go extinct virtually immediately. In the wild, and for the most part in captivity, the focus of all species is survival and reproduction. Sorry, but that is fact.

Flag Reply +37 rate up
15 replies
Bryan Reese July 13 2014 at 9:07 PM

Singapore, can you come as our guess, and teach America the differance of right and wrong. .

Flag Reply +29 rate up
5 replies
trvl4505 July 13 2014 at 11:36 PM

Singapore got it right. What kind of sicko would write a book about homosexual penguins ??

Flag Reply +23 rate up
4 replies
earring17 July 13 2014 at 11:28 PM

Proud of Singapore. If only we had the balls in this country also.

Flag Reply +21 rate up
3 replies
TKB July 13 2014 at 11:37 PM

Singapore pulled that book because it is the proper and decent thing to do!

Flag Reply +21 rate up
3 replies
John Roberson July 13 2014 at 9:14 PM

These heathens have already indoctrinated the US children with their filthy lifestyles and will continue to pursue other more direct sexual perverted courses to promote their agenda. It is after all only the passing of bodily fluids from one penis to another or one vagina to another that they can accomplish any way. They never will be fully and totally satisfied, because their moment only lasts a few minutes.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
5 replies
chuckwillswidows July 13 2014 at 8:50 PM

IMO, ^5 Singapore made the right Pro Choice.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
nlknlk7442 chuckwillswidows July 13 2014 at 9:18 PM

The left that speaks of U.S. imperialism in negative terms will ignore that when another country makes a decision they do not like. The become lecturing imperialist. Tolerance Baby!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
barbgre1 nlknlk7442 July 13 2014 at 10:46 PM

Are you sure you understand what imperialist means?......Because it has no bearing in this situation.

Flag 0 rate up
smashingmonkey chuckwillswidows July 14 2014 at 11:17 AM

There is a difference between disagreeing with a decision a country makes and imperialism. Yes. I am against imperialism. Yes. I disagree with Singapore banning books.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
davecalguy July 14 2014 at 12:28 AM

Soon there will be books about
raccoons blowing eachother....

Flag Reply +12 rate up
mvnup July 14 2014 at 8:34 AM

I bought and extension cord the other day brought it home and went to use it. I plugged the male end into the female wall outlet, then I went to plug the appliance in at the other end and it was another male instead of the female end that was supposed to be at that end. I the realized that two male ends don’t work together and the extension cord was defective.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
6 replies
chuckwillswidows July 13 2014 at 10:32 PM

I think if Dahmer and Wayne Gacy and Barney Frank were alive today, they would now be properly recognized as the trailblazers for sexual freedom

Flag Reply +7 rate up
4 replies
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