Russia: Prosecutors to investigate series of children’s books after ‘gay propaganda’ complaint

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Prosecutors in Russia are to investigate a series of children’s books after complaints that they “threaten the cultural values” of the country through acceptance of gay relationships.

The series, edited by novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya, was the subject of complaints by activists from the Essence of Time movement.

The fifteen books by different authors, contains a story titled “Our Family and Others”, which contains references to same-sex couples, and according to the critics “refers to them in a rather elated way.”

“Our Family and Others” was the subject of a separate complaint in February.

The activists mounted an appeal for regional prosecutors in Oryol to investigate the books, according to a report by Izvestia.

Director of the Tolerance Center, Yekaterina Geniyeva, was called in by the prosecutors last week, as the organisation had donated books from the series to libraries across the region.

Ulitskaya wrote to the prosecutors to say that the “authors had no intention to engage in the promotion of homosexual relations.”

“But if you want to know the position of the authors of this series, we all oppose the homophobia that has been unleashed in our country,” she continued, according to the report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last year signed into law a measure to make the “promotion of non-traditional relationships” to minors illegal.

“Those kids — real, living kids! — are subjected to persecution by their classmates who are brought up to be homophobic,” Ulitskaya was quoted as saying.

“The goal of this series is to show cultural diversity and to teach teenagers respect for other people, whose customs are different from those that are familiar for us,” she went on.