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San Diego County Digest

San Diego

July 16, 1986

Carrying signs with slogans such as "O'Connor Is Bringing the Wrong AIDS Into City Government," about 40 members of a Santee fundamentalist church picketed in front of San Diego City Hall on Tuesday to protest Mayor Maureen O'Connor's hiring of a homosexual as her top staff aide.

Led by the Rev. Dorman Owens, members of the Santee Bible Missionary Fellowship paraded around City Hall for nearly two hours to protest O'Connor's announcement last week that Benjamin Dillingham, the defendant in a palimony suit filed by a former homosexual lover, will be her principal aide.

"This individual has no place being in city government," Dorman said. "He's a bad example, and Maureen O'Connor is ungodly for hiring him."

Dorman's followers also have picketed abortion clinics and have led a drive to ban adult entertainment in Santee.

O'Connor said last week that she was aware that Dillingham, the 41-year-old former controller of the Metropolitan Transit Development Board, was a homosexual when she appointed him. Owens delivered a letter to O'Connor's office Tuesday afternoon demanding that Dillingham be fired, but the mayor's aides said that O'Connor believes that Dillingham's life style will not influence his job performance.

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