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Trial begins for man who filmed himself burning LGBT children’s books

Lily Wakefield August 6, 2019
Paul Dorr burning LGBT Children's books

Paul Dorr filmed himself burning the books.

The man who filmed himself burning LGBT+ children’s library books in a Facebook live video will go on trial today (August 6) for a criminal mischief offence.

Paul Dorr, a fundamentalist Christian who writes a blog titled Rescue The Perishing, uploaded the video on October 19 in which he burned a string of LGBT-inclusive books from the library in Orange City, Iowa.

Dorr posted the video on the same day as the Orange City Pride parade, which he criticised in the video, and called the content of the children’s books “filthy and disgusting.”

According to the Des Moines Register, Dorr “will go on trial for Criminal Mischief 5th Degree, which comes with the possibility of a 30-day jail sentence and a $625 fine.”

Iowa book burning Paul Dorr
After the incident, activists online raised thousands of dollars to help the library buy replacements.

Paul Dorr asked the judge to dismiss the charges, but was denied

Dorr asked the judge last month to dismiss charges against him, representing himself and saying that the charges violated his first amendment rights, but he was denied.

“Mr. Dorr isn’t being sent the message that he cannot burn books when he disagrees with the contents of those books,” magistrate Lisa Mazurek wrote in her ruling, according to Newsweek.

“He is being sent the message that he cannot burn books that do not belong to him.”

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.

After the incident, activists online raised thousands of dollars to help the library buy replacements.

Facebook fundraiser launched by Justin Scott, the Iowa state director of American Atheists, has crowdfunded $1,321 to help “fill the Orange City Library with even more books that celebrate the life experiences and contributions of LGBTQ+ people.”

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