Man accused of '666' taggings at LGBT landmarks speaks out

A well-known anti-gay marriage activist is out of jail and talking about his arrest in a hate crime investigation.

Richard Sheridan is accused of desecrating a Dallas landmark.

He won't admit if he did it or didn't do it, but says that regardless, it's not a hate crime.

Sheridan is a familiar face at city council, at commissioner's court and Dallas ISD. He's also run for mayor before.

He was jailed Friday and was out by Sunday morning. He was part of a mayoral forum at Fair Park Monday night with fellow candidates incumbent Mike Rawlings and Marcos Ronquillo.

Sheridan, 68, is no stranger to controversy and calls himself an extremist.

"Thrown out of city hall the most in the last 12 years; banned for 6 months and one year from speaking in front of the commissioners court ," said Sheridan.

The outspoken anti-gay marriage activist now faces criminal charges, accused of tagging LGBT landmarks with "666." The landmarks tagged include the Legacy of Love monument in Oak Lawn and Cathedral of Hope, the nation's largest gay and lesbian church.

"I may or may not have done it," Sheridan said.

Sheridan says he knows who's responsible for the taggings, but stops there.

"Did you do it or didn't you do it?" said FOX 4's Richard Ray.

"I'm not being coy with you. I'm answering your question," said Sheridan.

"OK. I don't mean to offend you," said Ray.

"Well, you are offending…you're being offensive," said Sheridan. "You want me to say, 'I did it?' Is that what you want me to say? I'm not saying whether I did or didn't do it, and that's going to be in a court of law…I'm willing to risk going to prison for 10 years, standing on the side of righteousness."

Last Friday, Sheridan's prior activism got him uninvited from another mayoral forum by the Dallas Bar Association.

"There were concerns that were raised about past conduct at other venues, other forums," said Rob Crain, an attorney with the Dallas Bar Association.

Crain says the decision was made before Sheridan's arrest, and in part because he's a write-in candidate, which organizers were not aware of.

"The arrest just reinforced that what we were doing was the right decision," said Crain.

Sheridan calls last summer's "666" taggings an act of love; a Biblical warning.

He says a misdemeanor might be appropriate, but not a felony and not a hate crime.

"Trial by jury, it will be proven that whoever did it and if they stick with me, it wasn't a hate crime because I'm not a hateful person," said Sheridan.

Sheridan and Crain had a phone conversation for the first time Monday that both describe as cordial.

Sheridan told Crain he will likely be outside on the sidewalk, passing out fliers at the Dallas Bar Association's forum on Tuesday.

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