Banned Kids' Books Return to Singapore Libraries – In Adult Section

A participant holds up a placard during the Pink Dot event, an annual event that promotes LGBT rights in Singapore, in Hong Lim Park, 28 June 2014. Two children's titles banned from Singapore libraries for featuring gay couples will be put back on shelves - in the adult section. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

SINGAPORE (DPA) — Two children's titles banned from Singapore libraries for featuring gay couples will be put back on shelves following intervention by the government, reports said.

The books were slated to be destroyed after being banned by Singapore's National Library Board (NLB).

Singapore's Minister of Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim, instructed the NLB to put the titles back, but in the adult section, the reports said.

"The decision on what books children can or cannot read remains with their parents," he wrote in a Facebook post.

"Parents who wish to borrow these books to read with their children will have the option to do so."

The two children's books – And Tango Makes Three and The White Swan Express – were among three titles banned by the NLB. Copies of the third book, Who's In My Family, had already been pulped, The Straits Times newspaper reported.

And Tango Makes Three tells the story of two male penguins caring for an unhatched egg, while The White Swan Express features a lesbian couple adopting a child.

The removal of the children's titles from public libraries after a complaint from the public caused a backlash in the island nation, and drew international headlines.

An open letter calling for the NLB to reinstate the books received 3,800 signatures. Several local writers boycotted events organized by or linked to the NLB, and three literary judges resigned from a panel for the Singapore Literature Prize in the wake of the NLB's ban.

Supporters of NLB's decision to remove the children's titles also spoke up, with 26,000 signing an online petition backing the move.