Controversial ‘King & King’ storybook draws protests on both sides

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09/09/2020

Several civic groups gathered outside the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Wednesday in competing protests on the issue of a gay-themed children’s book that the government has provided to schools as part of an extracurricular reading program. The book, “King & King” by Dutch authors Stern Nijland and Linda De Haan, tells the story of a young prince who faces pressure from his mother to marry a princess but eventually falls in love with a prince and weds him. Under a government program to encourage extracurricular reading, the book was distributed this semester to first grade students in elementary schools, drawing praise and criticism from civic groups, parents and teachers on both sides of an ongoing debate on LGBT education in Taiwan schools. At the demonstrations in Taipei on Wednesday, LGBT advocacy groups noted that one of the arguments against “King & King” was that it was not appropriate reading for first grade students. That argument, however, is “fake packaging for real homophobia,” said the LGBT advocacy groups, which included Equal Love Taiwan.

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