Actor Stephen Baldwin has appeared in some violent movies like "The Usual Suspects" and some sexually explicit ones like "Threesome," but now he's waging a war against vice. He's staging a protest against an adult-entertainment store in his Long Island, N.Y., town.
Baldwin, who is married with two daughters, ages 9 and 13, and lives in Nyack, N.Y., said a porn shop did not belong in his tranquil town. After Sept. 11, he became a born-again Christian and staunch supporter of President Bush. He's now on a mission to protect more traditional values -- even if that means staking out the yet-to-be-opened store and photographing the patrons. Baldwin said he would attempt to publicly shame them.
"I'm not on any crusade against pornography," Baldwin said. "Anybody who is into that, wants to go and do it, God bless them. The problem I'm having is the zoning laws and regulations and all that. In our area where there is only 200 feet required from an elementary school, this particular location plans on having eight video peep show booths."
Baldwin said he was trying to help the local leadership who have no legal means to keep the porn shop out -- he is using his voice to put pressure on the owner.
But the shop owner said he did not plan on going anywhere.
"We have enough money to stay open 10 years without one customer. We're not going anywhere, and you can tell 'them' that," said owner Dennis Perera.
But Baldwin, 39, is undeterred.
"We went to three town board meetings, voiced our opinion, and told these people: 'Don't bring your business here.' They have made the choice," Baldwin said. "If I'm stuck in a situation where the only way I can force this business to take its business somewhere else is by driving the customers away by taking the action I'm suggesting, then that's exactly what I'm going to do."
To put it simply, Baldwin said he was combatting freedom of speech with freedom of speech and hoped to shout down the porn.
Baldwin said adult-video and porn stores produced many negative secondary effects like sex crimes and vandalism.
"All kinds of terrible things are going to happen," he said.