Thousands raised to replace LGBT books burned by evangelical Christian
After a man filmed himself burning a library’s LGBT+ children’s books, the internet has raised more than $3,000 to replace them.
Paul Dorr, a fundamentalist Christian, uploaded a video to Facebook Live on October 19 in which he burned a string of LGBT-inclusive books from the library in Orange City, Iowa, which has a population of 6,004.
The library did not immediately confirm whether the books—which included young adult novel Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan and illustrated LGBT+ history book This Day in June by Gayle Pitman—would be replaced following the incident.
However, activists online have raised more thousands of dollars to help the library buy replacements in the wake of the news coverage.
A 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.”
Separate fundraisers on GoFundMe have raised a further $2,300 to supply LGBT+ books to libraries across the US after the incident, making a total of $3,621.
Scott said in a Facebook post: “I’m thinking Paul Dorr would have been better off keeping his homophobia and transphobia to himself.
“Look at the outpouring of support—from Christians, atheists and everyone in between—that the LGBTQ+ community has received as a result of his disgusting stunt.”
Dorr has said he has no intention of paying for the books he destroyed. He has several weeks to pay a library fine, but could be charged with fifth-degree misdemeanour theft if he does not.
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