Social conservative and prominent
anti-gay protester Rev. Grant Storms was arrested Friday in New
Orleans on charges of lewd conduct.
Storms is known for his bullhorn
protests of the city's annual Southern Decadence festival in the
French Quarter. The festival is considered one of the world's
largest gay-themed events.
Police arrested the 53-year-old Storms
after two women reported him masturbating in the driver's seat of his
van near a park playground, The Times-Picayune first reported.
Storms was “looking at the playground
area that contained children playing, with his zipper down,” one of
the women told deputies.
Southern Decadence draws tens of
thousands to New Orleans for a gay party that lasts the entire Labor
Storms and his followers have attempted
to shut down the festival. In 2003, he organized a march in
opposition of the event, which he called “nasty” and “depraved.”
Storms and his followers picketed the festival with signs that read
“Adam & Eve NOT Adam & Steve” and loud protests amplified
Sergeant Larry Dyess, a spokesman for
the Sheriff's office, told WWL
Radio that Storms originally told deputies that he was simply
urinating in a bottle but later confessed to investigators that he
was masturbating inside his van.
Dyess added that Storms, who was
arrested on an obscenity charge, was released from jail on Sunday.