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Two gay men arrested in White House protest

Friday, March 19, 2010


Gay men arrested in White House protest

The U.S. Park Police arrested two protesters who handcuffed themselves to a portion of the White House fence Thursday afternoon.

Shortly before 2 p.m., Park Police came upon two men who had chained themselves to a section of the iron fence on the north side, said Sgt. David Schlosser, a police spokesman. Officers told the men they did not have a permit for their demonstration and gave them three warnings about the violation, Schlosser said. The men refused to leave, so officers arrested them on the charge of "failure to obey a lawful order."

James Pietrangelo, 44, of Sandusky, Ohio, and Daniel W. Choi, 29, of New York are scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court on Friday.

Choi is an openly gay Iraq war veteran who has been a vocal critic of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward homosexuals. Pietrangelo is a former U.S. Army captain and also openly gay.

Choi said in a statement that he and Pietrangelo went to the White House to take their message directly to President Obama.

-- Theola Labbé-DeBose


Ex-pastor charged with sex assaults

A Kentucky man who formerly was pastor of a Fairfax County church in the 1990s has been arrested by Fairfax police in the alleged molestation of two boys in the mid-1990s, Fairfax police said Thursday.

Tommy Shelton, 64, was the pastor of Community Church of God at 2500 Gallows Rd. in the Dunn Loring area from 1995 to 2000, police said.

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