Today the ACLU of Iowa spoke out about the Dorr book burning verdict.
Rita Bettis Austen, ACLU of Iowa Legal Director, issued the following statement:
“Mr. Dorr has a right to his beliefs, and the First Amendment protects his right to express those beliefs. But the issue here is not this man's beliefs, nor his speech—it is the destruction of library property.
Burning public library books is the destruction of ideas, and that’s reprehensible. The destruction of books from a public library is a clear attempt to shut down the open sharing and discussion of ideas. No one person or even group should decide that they are the gatekeepers of ideas for the rest of the public.
Further, we stand by the LGBTQ community in Orange City and the public library that serves them. We all have the right to be free from discrimination and bias on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity at the library. The library was right to stock these important books, which reflect the LGBTQ population in Orange City."