5 Gay-Rights Protesters Arrested at Anaheim Church : Demonstration: 60 other activists, some from ACT UP, march outside a symposium on heterosexuality held by the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Five gay-rights activists were arrested on suspicion of trespassing Saturday after attempting to disrupt a symposium on heterosexuality at an Anaheim church, police said.

About 60 gay-rights protesters from several groups, including the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, participated in the midday demonstration. The boisterous crowd waved placards, chanted slogans, read passages from the Bible and shouted epithets such as "bigot!" when congregants left the church parking lot.

Four suspects were arrested after standing up in the middle of a seminar entitled "Preservation of the Heterosexual Ethic," organized by the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition, police said.

The program highlighted the works of two doctors who dispute those who hold that at least 10% of the population is gay.

Arrested on suspicion of trespassing and disturbing the peace were Paul Courry, 36, of Irvine; Larkette Lein, 38, of Placentia; Dave Barton, 29, of Orange, and Dave Cammack, 32, of Orange. They are scheduled to be arraigned next month, police said.

Another activist, Charles Stallard, 33, of Los Angeles, was also arrested, on suspicion of trespassing, police said.

All were released on their written promises to appear in court, police said.

The activists, who had bought tickets to the event, interrupted a speaker about noon during the middle of a presentation at the Power Community Church in Anaheim, police said.

Courry said two protesters produced signs that had been concealed under their coats. Then a shouting match occurred when another two activists went toward the front of the church, where Rep. William E. Danneymeyer (R-Fullerton) was addressing the audience.

The group was then asked to leave but refused, Courry said.

Steve Sheldon, son of the minister, said the four protesters obviously had a hidden agenda when they paid a fee to attend the seminar.

"We believe they participated (signed up) with the intent of disrupting the event," he said.

Times staff writer Danny Sullivan contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
58°