Elton John Blasts Venice Mayor for Banning Children’s Books That Talk About Same-Sex Families
Elton John has joined the chorus of angry voices protesting Luigi Brugnaro, newly elected mayor of Venice, Italy, and his decision to remove picture books dealing with same-sex families from the city's schools.
John, who owns an apartment on the Venetian island of Giudecca, has voiced his displeasure with an Instagram post displaying the cover of The Family Book, by children's author Todd Parr. "It champions an all-inclusive world where families come in all shapes, sizes and colors. And most importantly, that families are about love. Our boys adore it," writes John. "And in the opposing corner we have Luigi Brugnaro, the extremely silly looking mayor of Venice. He's stupidly chosen to politicize children's books by banning titles that touch on same sex families living happily ever after."
As John argues in his post, "instead of encouraging a world based on inclusiveness, tolerance and love," Brugnaro is "championing a future society that's divisive and fosters ignorance. Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking, but not as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro."
As the Guardian notes, John is in good company in his battle against Brugnaro's edict: After nearly 50 books were removed from classrooms, a group of more than 250 authors demanded that their own books be taken out as well. The list of banned books has reportedly since been reduced to two.
Brugnaro, who initially boasted that he would "not be intimidated" by criticism of the policy, has held firm in the face of public criticism from one of his city's most famous tenants, returning fire in a series of tweets that accuse John of displaying the "arrogance of the rich" and questioning his contributions to the city.
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