An evangelical Christian checked out all the LGBT+ children’s books from a Iowa public library and filmed himself burning them.
Paul Dorr, a fundamentalist Christian who writes a blog titled Rescue The Perishing, targeted the local library in Orange City, which has a population of 6,004, on the same day as the annual OC Pride parade on Friday (October 19).
In a 29-minute Facebook Live video, Dorr vented about the parade and read from books he had checked out from the library, attacking their “filthy and disgusting” content.
Dorr then proceeded to drop copies of the books into a burning bin on camera, while remarking about his actions.
The books he burnt include young adult novel Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, illustrated LGBT+ history book This Day in June by Gayle Pitman, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang.
Dropping the copy of Two Boys Kissing into the fire, he said: “That one won’t be going on the shelf any more!”
Throwing This Day in June onto the fire, Dorr added: “Orange City library, you will not be checking that one out to kids.”
Explaining his actions, Dorr said: “I cannot stand by and let the shameful adults at the Orange City Library Board bring the next group of little children into their foul, sexual reality without a firm resistance.”
Dorr expressed the belief that people become gay because of “the harm that adults did to you as children” and urges LGBT+ people to “walk away from your degeneracy… repent and turn back to Christ.”
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Orange City Public Library director Amanda Vazquez told the Des Moines Register that after being made aware of the video on Saturday, she “alerted the board” and the library is now considering “next steps,” including possible legal action.
The Orange City Police Chief confirmed to the Register that legal action was being discussed.
OC Pride said in a statement to the outlet: “It is disappointing to see folks break the law in a community where we believe abiding by the law keeps everyone safe.
“We are thankful for the LGBTQ+ community here in NW Iowa for setting a positive example of building community in light of those who do violent, illegal things to prove a point.”
There have been renewed attacks on LGBT+ content in US public libraries in recent months.
In September, Rumford Public Library in Maine faced pressure to ban LGBT+ books including Two Boys Kissing from its display of frequently-banned books, after evangelicals claimed they were inappropriate for children.
Also in September, anti-LGBT activists filed a lawsuit against Lafayette Library in Louisiana for holding a Drag Queen Story Time event to promote inclusion.
A similar lawsuit was filed against Houston Public Library in Texas on Friday (October 19).