Anti-Gay Preacher Caught With Pants Down at Kiddie Park
An anti-gay New Orleans pastor who has made a name for himself by assailing a major gay event with bullhorn denunciations was caught with his pants down near a children's' play area at a public park, reported the Times-Picayune on March 1.
Fundamentalist preacher Grant Storms, 53, was observed masturbating in his parked vehicle near a children's play area at Lafreniere Park in the New Orleans suburb of Metaire on Feb. 25, the article said. A mother taking her children to the play area had parked her car near Storm's van when she noted that the preacher, who was sitting in the driver's seat, seemed to be masturbating. The mother said that the preacher was "looking at the playground area that contained children playing, with his zipper down," the article reported.
The mother relayed this information to a second woman, who approached the parked van and looked in. The second woman saw the same sight, the article reported, and the preacher saw her in turn. The preacher "tried to conceal the zipper area of his pants with his hand," the article said. The second woman described the scene to deputies who were dispatched by the Sheriff's Office after the women reported Storms' alleged conduct to a park employee. The article said that the park employee prevented Storms from leaving the scene until the deputies could get there.
Storms initially claimed that he was using a bottle as a urinal. However, according to a Sheriff's Department spokesperson, the anti-gay preacher later admitted that he had been masturbating, On Top Magazine reported on March 1.
"A self-styled 'Christian patriot,' Storms led a small West Bank congregation called The Reformer Church and for 10 years hosted 'The Reformer Radio Show' on WSHO," the Times-Picayune reported. "Storms has railed against the Roman Catholic church, calling it 'satanic' and 'demonic,' " the article added.
Storms also has railed against gays, assailing the Southern Quarter's annual Southern Decadence event with bullhorns and placards that he and his followers use to decry the gathering and its participants. In 2004, area businessmen obtained a restraining order to keep Storms and his followers away from the annual Labor Day event.
"He's done everything through the years to disturb [Southern Decadence] and try to make it into something nasty that it's not," event organizer Chuck Robinson told the Times-Picayune. "If the Rev. Storms is caught doing that in our city, it is ludicrous and heinous that he would have the nerve to complain about any kind of sexuality."
The article noted that it was Storms' use of bullhorns to disrupt the celebration that led to a city ordinance against the use of sound amplifying devices in the French Quarter.
"He's, in my opinion, just repulsive," businessman Earl Bernhardt, who co-owns several Bourbon Street establishments, declared. "I'm not surprised at all that he got caught doing that. Serves him right. He'll be out of our hair down here."
Storms was initially held on a $5,000 bail, but was then turned loose because the prison system is overcrowded. Queerty.com reported that Storms could face a fine and a prison sentence of up to three years.
GLBT news site Towleroad.com reported that Storms had taken video footage of purported sex acts on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence in 2002 and then distributed the video to lawmakers in hopes of seeing the annual event squelched.
"There's no economic gain that justifies an orgy in the streets," Storms declared at time. "That's all it is--a three-day orgy in the streets."