WARSAW, Ohio — Exotic dancers from an Ohio strip club protested topless outside a church Sunday and engaged in a few heated verbal exchanges with church members.
Dancers from Foxhole North, a club in New Castle in central Ohio, staged the protest outside New Beginnings Ministries in nearby Warsaw, a church the club owner says has protested his business for years, the Coshocton Tribune reported.
At one point, six bare-breasted women marched from a street corner to the edge of the church parking lot; two women remained topless for most of the demonstration, which involved about 30 people who sat across the street from the church or walked around holding signs, the newspaper reported.
Tarps shielded the rear of the church, where most congregation members entered and exited Sunday. Several women came out of the church after services and exchanged words with the club sympathizers, the newspaper said.
In a telephone interview Sunday, club owner Thomas George told The Associated Press that four years ago, club dancers in bikinis protested and held signs outside the church, but that didn't stop the church from picketing his business.
"I don't have a problem with people expressing their First Amendment rights, but at what point does it become harassment," said George, who apologized to the public and other churches for Sunday's protest. "But they backed us in a corner, and we have no recourse at law."
He said judges have repeatedly denied his requests for injunctions to keep church protesters away from his property.
The church's pastor, the Rev. Bill Dunfee, told the Tribune recently that church members will persist in opposing the club. "We know what we're doing is working," Dunfee said.
Dunfee couldn't be reached for comment Sunday. No phone listing for him could be found and a recording at the church said voice mail couldn't accept messages.