Total Croatia News: “Officials Condemn Burning of Picture Book about Same-Sex Families”

ZAGREB, February 5, 2018 – Education Minister Blaženka Divjak and Children’s Ombudswoman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević on Monday strongly condemned the burning of a picture book by the Dugine Obitelji association which speaks about children growing up in same-sex families, as an effigy at a children’s carnival in the coastal town of Kaštela.

“The burning of books and discrimination are unacceptable. We can agree or disagree on some topics in the public sphere, but the messages that we send to our children must contribute to building an open and tolerant society,” said Divjak.

Children’s Ombudswoman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević said that “this is yet another in a number of cases where adults set a very bad example to children, both in terms of the attitude to differences and in terms of the attitude to books.” “Instead of teaching children to accept and respect differences, adults act very irresponsibly and encourage them to intolerance and violence, without thinking about how that will affect their future development and behaviour,” said Pirnat Dragičević. She added that the case was yet another confirmation that civics and health education have to be introduced in schools, not just as elective but as compulsory content.

The incident in Kaštela is a reminder that organisers of public events involving children must put the interest of children above anything else and offer them good content, instead of offering them their own prejudices, says Pirnat Dragičević.

The picture book “My rainbow family” was launched in late January as the first picture book in the country describing same-sex families.

A video has been circulating on social networks showing a burning effigy – a rainbow-coloured picture book showing two hearts and the words “mom+ mom” and on the reverse “dad + dad”, with people in attendance applauding in approval.

Nikša Radić, leader of the Poklade carnival association which organised the children’s carnival in Kaštela, commented on the burning of the effigy showing the picture book by saying: “When a women makes another woman pregnant or a man makes another man pregnant, we will finance all children’s carnivals in the world and be godfathers to those children.”

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