A bookstore gets a fine – level 3

20-07-2023 07:00

The Hungarian government has fined the country’s second-largest bookstore, Lira, nearly 36,000 dollars for violating a law that bans depicting homosexuality to minors.

The charge against them is for not wrapping an LGBTQ graphic novel Heartstopper in plastic foil. The controversial 2021 law requires all books with LGBTQ themes to be wrapped and sold separately, at least 200 meters away from schools or churches. The law is part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Christian-conservative agenda and it’s been criticized by the EU.

Lira’s creative director Krisztian Nyary says the law is vague and difficult to implement. This fine is the highest in the history of the Hungarian book trade. Despite using legal means, the fine can’t be appealed.

Difficult words: minor (a person under the age of full legal responsibility), agenda (a list of things to be done or achieved), vague (uncertain or unclear).

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What are the implications of the Hungarian government's controversial 2021 law?


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