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Sunday, April 12, 1998 Published at 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK


Outrage! in the Cathedral

Gay campaigners mount the pulpit

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been arrested after dramatically interrupting the Archbishop of Canterbury's traditional Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral.

"Dr Carey supports discrimation" shouts Mr Tatchell
Mr Tatchell, followed by about six other OutRage! campaigners, climbed into the pulpit, disrupting the sermon, to protest at the Archbishop's stance towards homosexuals.

"Dr Carey supports discrimination against lesbian and gay people. He opposes lesbian and gay human rights. This is not a Christian teaching. It is wrong for Dr Carey to oppose an equal age of consent," shouted Mr Tatchell from the pulpit.

[ image: Church official strikes out at Tatchell]
Church official strikes out at Tatchell
Dr Carey stepped aside, and stewards and a senior police officer at the service dragged the campaigners from the pulpit.

As Mr Tatchell hung on to a pillar, one of the stewards hammered at his hand to make him let go.

The two-minute protest started seconds after Dr Carey began his sermon, in which he urged peace in Northern Ireland.

[ image: Scrabble at the pulpit]
Scrabble at the pulpit
Mr Tatchell had time to accuse Dr Carey of opposing lesbian and gay foster parents and equal opportunities for lesbian and gays at work.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "One man is in custody on suspicion of damaging a microphone on the pulpit."

BBC Religious Correspondent Alex Kirby says the Church of England is under increasing pressure to start ordaining lesbian and gay clergy.

However, Outrage! is a secular group.

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