Monday, November 30, 1998 Published at 16:18 GMT
Tatchell compares Carey to apartheid church leaders
Canterbury cathedral, the scene of OutRage!'s public demonstration
Mr Tatchell is on trial at Canterbury Magistrates Court charged, under the 1860 Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act, with indecent behaviour in a church.
Stipendiary magistrate Michael Kelly was told that Mr Tatchell, 46, of Lambeth, south London, criticised Dr Carey's opposition to lowering the homosexual age of consent and the church's ban on the ordination of practising gay clergy.
Religious affairs correspondent Alex Kirby said: "Mr Tatchell said he considered Dr Carey no different from senior members of the white church which supported apartheid.
"He said human rights was more important than the rituals of the Church."
Mr Tatchell said: "The shame is not our defence of human rights but the Archbishop's defence of discrimination."
Earlier Robert Montague, prosecuting, said the campaigners' conduct on 12 April was "unseemly and inappropriate" in a place of worship but he said Dr Carey stood aside and there was no physical violence.
Mr Montague said the indecency mentioned in the charge had no sexual connotation.
'Brief and peaceful protest'
Mr Tatchell's lawyers will argue the 1860 act gives the church a privileged form of protection against protest.
The National Secular Society (NSS) has launched an appeal deploring Mr Tatchell's prosecution and also wants the act to be repealed.
The NSS says the law "gives the church unique and sweeping powers to suppress dissent".
The Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, wants the act repealed.
'Acting out of anger and pain'
He said: "Peter is a man that I admire. I don't always agree with his tactics but I understand where the anger and the pain that provokes his tactics comes from.
"If he were sentenced and sent to prison ... I don't think it would go down very much to the forgiving credit of the church."
OutRage! says prominent signatories of the NSS appeal include Sir Ludovic Kennedy, Claire Rayner, Alan Bennett, Michael Foot and Vanessa Redgrave.
Labour MP Tony Benn and Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, are due to appear on Tuesday as character witnesses for Mr Tatchell.