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News 09 Feb 18

Crowdfunding Raises Over $6K for Croatia’s 'My Rainbow Family'

The money will help continue publication of Croatia’s first picture book about same-sex families in the wake of a mock book-burning.   

Relja Dusek
BIRN
Zagreb

Photo: Facebook/Dugine obitelji

After critics set fire to a replica of Croatia’s first picture book about same-sex families, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on Thursday raised $6,225 to publish 1,000 new picture books and 1,000 copies of a colouring book about children with same-sex parents, the book’s publisher reports. 

“We are really surprised by the good results and huge interest. We are constantly called and asked about the book,” Daniel Martinovic, coordinator of the NGO Rainbow Family, the publisher of My Rainbow Family, told BIRN.

Five hundred free copies of My Rainbow Family were published initially. The crowdfunding campaign will continue for another month to raise $10,000 (about 8,167 euros) to publish an additional 2,000 copies of the book.

Rainbow Family, whose 80-some LGBT members are parents or aspiring parents, decided to publish the picture book to assist what it describes as increased numbers of same-sex parents. Croatia does not have enough picture books that discuss LGBT issues and tolerance, Martinovic claimed.

“We have a little ‘baby boom’ among our members and the book is what we needed,” he said.

Croatia has registered over 200 same-sex civil partnerships since 2014, when the unions were legalised, according to official data. LGBT couples may still not adopt children.

Not everyone in Croatia, a predominantly Catholic country, shares Martinovic’s enthusiasm for promoting greater tolerance of same-sex families.

My Rainbow Family was first published on January 18. But just two weeks later, on February 4, unidentified revellers at a pre-Lent carnival in Kastela, near the town of Split, burnt a rainbow-colored replica of the book in front of hundreds of children and their parents.

Croatian gay-rights groups have since filed a complaint against the carnival’s organisers, Poklade, while Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak has strongly condemned the book’s burning. 

“The burning of books and discrimination are unacceptable. We can agree or disagree on some topics in the public sphere, but the messages that we send to our children must contribute to building an open and tolerant society,” Divjak said after the incident, the state-run Hina news agency reported.

Martinovic told BIRN that the attack on the book at Kastela shocked Rainbow Family members, but did not discourage them.

“We were very sad to see that, but I have to say that many parents from Kastela later called and told us how sorry they are and that they didn’t know what was actually happening,” Martinovic explained. “I wouldn’t say it was Kastela, but just a few people with extreme views.”

Promotions for My Rainbow Family will continue, he said.

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