The Ulyanovsk regional science library named after Lenin has asked the regional education ministry to check whether a series of books received by the library's Tolerance Center under the children's project of author Lyudmila Ulitskaya contain gay propaganda.
Several books, including one by Vera Timenchik under the title "Semya U Nas E U Drugikh" (Families, Ours And Theirs), have been sent to the regional education ministry, library director Svetlana Nagatkina told Interfax. .
"The synopsis indicates that this book is meant for children of primary- and secondary-school age. Yet it tells, for example, about the normality of same-sex marriages. I do not think such information is necessary and useful for children aged 8-12 years," Nagatkina said.
The debatable books were in the library's stock and have not been freely available to readers yet, she said.
Prosecutors are conducting checks into the matter, senior aide to the Ulyanovsk regional prosecutor Vasily Zima told Interfax. "We emphasize that no case - neither administrative, nor criminal - has been opened yet. Checks are under way, all necessary tests have been requested," the prosecution official said.
Author Timenchik was summoned to the Investigative Committee, Ulitskaya told Interfax earlier on Friday. "Timenchik, the author of the book "Families, Ours And Theirs" has been summoned to the Investigative Committee. Indeed there has been a certain number of readers' letters, including a complaint from Ulyanovsk written, striking as it may seem, by someone from a local branch of the Tolerance Institute, who was outraged by a several-line-long excerpt that informed [the reader] that homosexualism is a fairly widespread cultural phenomenon," Ulitskaya said.
"There are many unresolved problems in our society that are far more important for its existence: corruption, the dire state of medicine, the incredibly high number of orphans and low living standards. The aggressive attitude towards homosexuals, sanctioned from above by the authorities, appears to me an attempt to avoid solving the problems that really matter and to steer the aggression of an irritated society onto people of a non-traditional orientation," the author said.