Anti-pornography groups will hold a protest outside the Wholesale Lingerie Store in Beltsville on Saturday.
“We want to damage the multibillion-dollar pornography industry,” said Mark Houk, president and co-founder of The King’s Men, a Philadelphia-based men’s group that has been protesting sex-based businesses for five years. “We do it one strip club and business at a time.”
Co-organizer the Maryland Coalition Against Pornography has been planning the event for almost six months. Spokesman Arthur McKnew says the store is violating several local laws because it is open 24 hours a day and is within 1,000 feet of a residential area.
Mr. Houk said the store’s name “disguises” the fact that it sells pornography.
The store manager, reached by telephone Wednesday, would not comment on the protest or the charge that the store is breaking the law. An employee contacted by telephone the same day said she didn’t know about the protest. After being informed of it, she laughed, “These protesters don’t know that [selling pornography] is so much better for business.”
A reporter who visited the store Friday saw adult movies for rent, viewing booths and a large variety of sexual products. There was also a small sign on the door, written with a permanent marker on neon-yellow construction paper: “No reporter’s or cameras.”
The group will be in front of the store on Harford Avenue from 2 to 4 p.m.
“We want to minister to those going in there and positively encourage them not to lust,” Mr. Houk said. “You could be ministering to strippers or fathers.”
The “mostly quiet” protesters will pray, fast, wave signs and otherwise try to deter business by “calling out” customers, Mr. Houk said.