Iowa man who burned LGBTQ library books pleads not guilty

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Paul Dorr burns LGBTQ children's books from the Orange City Public Library. The library is still looking at its options on how to respond. (Screen capture of the Facebook Live video)

Paul Dorr burns LGBTQ children’s books from the Orange City Public Library. He has plead not guilty to misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal mischief. (Screen capture of the Facebook Live video)

ORANGE CITY — Paul Dorr, who burned LGBTQ friendly books from the Orange City Public Library in October 2018, has plead not guilty to fifth-degree criminal mischief.

Iowa Public Radio reported that Dorr had filed a written plea electronically. He asked for a trial date after March 20 and told the court he is still looking for a lawyer.

The Sioux City Journal reported in October that Paul, who describes the local group he runs, Rescue the Perishing, as “a crisis center and pro-life, pro-family movement,” said that the protest was because of his outrage that Orange City Pride took place. This was the second year for OC Pride.

Dorr burned the books in a Facebook Live video. He also told the newspaper that sex ed classes in schools, local churches not opposing LGBTQ causes and a play at a local college all contributed to his protest. According to the newspaper, the 28-minute long video was basically Dorr ranting about LGBTQ.

In a written plea filed electronically in Sioux County District Court last Saturday, Paul Dorr of Ocheyedan asks for a trial date after March 20. He says he is still trying to find an attorney to represent him.

The books Dorr burned were David Levithan’s “Two Boys Kissing”; Suzanne and Max Lang’s “Families, Families, Families!”; Gayle E. Pitman’s “This Day in June”; and Christine Baldacchino’s “Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress.” He had burned the books in outrage at Orange City having a small Pride celebration.

According to Iowa Public radio, Dorr could face a maximum fine of $625 and up to 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Dorr declined to comment to the radio network about the plea and did not respond to a question about how he feels over the national attention he received after burning the books in October. He said in an email that he hopes to be exonerated at trial.

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