In a video posted by an Ocheyedan-based Christian group called Rescue the Perishing, group leader Paul Dorr burned several LGBTQ+ books he had checked out from the Orange City Public Library. He calls them “shameful” and “wicked.”
“Continuing my 25-year stand for Christ I cannot stand by and let the adults – this time the shameful Orange City library board – bring the next group of little children into their foul sexual reality without a firm resistance,” Dorr said at one point during the video.
Dorr burned four books supporting the LGBTQ+ community. In the video he said having these books on library shelves is a form of censorship of conservative media, and is comparable to Nazism.
The library has been criticized by Rescue the Perishing and other groups in the past for having these LGBTQ+ books on their shelves.
Steve Mahr owns a coffee shop in Orange City, and supports the LGBTQ+ community. He says he believes communities like Orange City should be built on supporting every single citizen.
“I think it’s also important to remember that we all have an individual responsibility and a community responsibility to lift up people who are often excluded, ostracized, and marginalized in our community,” Mahr said.
As for the library, they can’t say for sure those books belong to them. But they do have books with the same titles currently checked out and they appear to be labeled as Orange City Library property. The library has policies in place regarding damaged or destroyed books.
“We do have the patron pay to replace those materials,” said library director Amanda Vazquez. “Our policy does state that if the requests go unanswered then the library director may contact law enforcement or the county attorney.”
KCAU9 reached out to the Orange City police department, but was told they couldn’t comment on the situation as it is an ongoing investigation into the destruction of public property.
This event took place in response to the Orange City Pride event that was taking place at the same time. OC Pride released the following statement regarding the book burning:
“OC Pride is aware of what happened, however, our goal is to remain focused on creating a healthy, loving environment for the LGBTQ+ of the community. 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. OC Pride is committed to creating safe, supportive, and encouraging spaces & events for the local, rural LGBTQ+ community of NW Iowa. We would encourage you to reach out to the Orange City city council and the Orange City Police Department concerning the destruction of city property. www.facebook.com/ocpride”
Rescue the Perishing’s full remarks can be found: here
And the full video of the book burning can be found on their Facebook page.