On October 19th Orange City, Iowa held its second annual Pride event. There was a children's storytelling section scheduled to kick off OC Pride, but some people were not too pleased with that. One person, an Iowa man named Paul Dorr, decided to set up a Facebook live video in which he threw LGBTQ-themed books that he rented from the Orange City Library into a burning trashcan, according to Des Moines Register.
Paul is the head of a religious group called Rescue the Perishing, which promotes "pro-life and pro-family (anti-gay, I'm assuming)" values. Knowing that, this literary auto-da-fé is hardly surprising. It's still disturbing though, as book burning has been used as a way to silence free thought and discourage people from having a different point of view. The books that he burned were Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino, This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, and Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang.
Earlier in the year, a petition was circulating through Orange City that demanded that LGBTQ-themed books be separate from others. The Orange City Library reorganized their books by category rather than alphabetical by author. Dorr should have just stopped after the library's compromise, but instead he decided to destroy things that didn't belong to him. The Orange City police chief said that they are discussing legal action against Dorrbut refused to comment further.
The fact that many people do not share in Dorr's protesting is nice to see, as it shows that there are still some sane people out there and that the a lot of people are in favor of free thought. LGBTQ voices have definitely been silenced over the years and this incendiary protest proves that there are still people out there who want to shut down any speech related to LGBTQ issues and themes and that we have to fight harder to have our voices heard.
h/t: Des Moines Register