Lira, Hungary’s second-largest bookstore, has announced plans to take legal action after being fined for selling ‘Heartstopper’, a graphic novel with LGBTQ+ themes.
The bookstore was ordered to pay 12 million forints (£27,570) for having ‘Heartstopper’, among other books for minors, on sale without them being wrapped in plastic foil.
Krisztian Nyary, Creative Director of Lira and a well-known author, described the fine as disproportionate and criticised the law being enforced for being vague.
“As this is a resolution about a fine it cannot be appealed, it can only be attacked – in what way, our lawyers will assess,” he told Reuters.
“We will use all legal means at our disposal.”
Nyary also said that some publishers had been voluntarily wrapping their books in a bid to comply with Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws, though they were uncertain of whether or not this would be enough to have the books on shelves with literature for adults.
In 2021, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government passed a law prohibiting the “display and promotion of homosexuality” among those under the age of 18.
His administration generally promotes a right-wing, Christian agenda that has been met with fierce criticism from the European Union.
Hungary does not recognise same-sex marriage and only heterosexual couples are allowed to legally adopt children.