Lesbian married couple says street preacher harassed them for weeks
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Scottsburg man is being accused of harassing a lesbian couple while preaching in the town courtyard.
The couple owns businesses in the area and claim he shouts phrases condemning their lifestyle. This is all happening on the Scottsburg Courthouse lawn.
The man has videos on his Facebook and YouTube showing him doing what he calls street preaching.
Not just in Scottsburg, because sometimes he’ll come down to Louisville to do it at pride events.
It’s led to a group of counter-protestors meeting him in Scottsburg every Wednesday.
He calls himself Mr. Batman, and since he hasn’t been charged with a crime, we decided not to identify him.
He’s a pastor in Indiana, and in June he started preaching on the corner of the Scottsburg Courthouse Lawn.
“When we both came out onto the sidewalk, he turned it into a direct thing at us. His comments were very directed and just really hateful,” said Emily Deaton.
Emily Deaton and Marf are married and have businesses right across the street.
They said when he saw them, he targeted them with his words.
“I love being in homosexual’s pictures,” the man said in one of his videos while someone apparently was taking a picture of him out of frame. “Okay kids, avert your eyes! Sexual perverts at work,” he continued.
Some of the preaching from his videos are directed at gay people.
“Unfortunately homosexuals put their sexuality in the face of God. That’s a problem,” he said.
The women said he told them their child doesn’t have real parents because they’re gay.
“This was a very direct comment at me. Saying that I’m a pervert and my child is going to hell,” Marf said. “That’s harassment in my book.”
They said he showed up at the same exact time for five Wednesdays in a row.
Soon after, some counter-protestors started showing up to try and distract from his message.
“We keep it away from anything that’s political or religious or anything that’s offensive towards him even because we want it to be a more positive environment for anybody could otherwise be hearing what he’s saying,” Deaton said.
In the same video, you can hear police officers come up and talk to him.
He tells them he was just walking around and not directing his messages at anyone.
“We got a call that you might be harassing people out here,” one officer said.
“I’m a street preacher. I’m not a hate preacher,” the man replied. “All I’m saying is God can bless people, God can forgive people, and no one has to stay in the position they’re in. And unfortunately, people take harassment to that.”
After WAVE News heard this was happening every Wednesday, we showed up at his usual time to try and talk to him.
He was there initially but drove away. So we tried calling him.
He didn’t pick up, so we went to his house.
His car was in the driveway, but no one answered the door.
He did eventually call us back and left me a message saying he would be happy to answer any questions.
We called him back twice but were never able to reach him again.
Neighbors told me he’s very well known in the area and has become a nuisance for a lot of them.
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