Singapore to Destroy Copies of Book About Gay Penguins

Singapore has announced it will remove and destroy from its public libraries copies of three books that it says violate the country's family values.

Singapore plans to destroy copies of three children's books, including one about two male penguins raising a chick, following complaints that the works' contents violate the country's family values.
And Tango Makes ThreeThe White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption and Who's In My Family: All About Our Families will be removed from Singapore's state-run libraries and pulped, according to multiple reports.

"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," said Yaacob Ibrahim, the country's information minister, according to The Guardian.
An online petition was launched in response to the announcement, calling for Singapore's National Library Board to reverse its decision.
Gay rights have become a flash point in Singapore, with recent rallies held by LGBT activistsdrawing thousands in support, as well as strong opposition from religious groups.
Singapore is a business hub in Asia, and generally viewed as a moderate and westernized place for expats to live. Dubai, a major city in the United Arab Emirates, has a similar role in the Middle East, and has also been the scene of tension between authorities and the country's gay population. However, the issue is more controversial in Dubai, with a man recently standing trial for engaging in a "'gay' handshake."
Whether the ongoing issue of gay rights in Singapore has an impact on the country's reputation as a Western-friendly destination is debatable. Some in the West may see the move to ban the books as government encroachment on citizens' personal lives, while others may not care as long as it does not impact business.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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