Equality Ride Activists Arrested at Liberty

12 03 2006

Equality Ride got off to a good start on Friday at Liberty University.

Via Washington Post

More than 20 gay rights activists were arrested on trespassing charges Friday when they stepped onto the campus of Liberty University, the school founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Many of the activists were part of Soulforce, a Lynchburg-based group on its first stop of a nationwide “Equality Ride” tour to promote gay rights at the nation’s conservative Christian universities and military academies. Most of those arrested were members of the tour, but the group also included supporters from other colleges and the community.

Invoking the memory of the civil rights movement, Soulforce member Jacob Reitan said: “We want to come to the school today to say, “learn from history.”

“We have a right to be here, because this school teaches that being gay is being sick and sinful,” said Reitan, co-director of Equality Ride. “We have a right to question and to show how we are children of God.”

Some 60 people, including 35 members of the Equality Ride bus tour, gathered for the late morning rally on a sidewalk outside the school’s main entrance. A music group played guitars and sang 1960s peace songs. The 20 activists who actually entered the campus were arrested immediately.

Several Liberty students spoke to the Soulforce members. But the group didn’t always find support. Liberty senior Tray Faulkner said the university disapproves of any alternative lifestyle. “I know you guys don’t think it’s a sin,” he said. “We do.”

Falwell, the university’s chancellor, had warned the group that it would not be permitted on campus, saying he would not allow his school to be used for a media event aimed at raising money for gay rights.

While I do not agree completely with Falwell’s actions, I do not doubt that he had his student body family at best interest.

Equality Ride was offered a debate forum at Lee University, my alma mater, by president Dr. Paul Conn. Equality Ride turned it down saying the debate is over, referencing a video produced by Equality Ride sponsor, Dr. Mel White, about an obscure court case in Texas.

Lee will not deny access to the riders, but instead will take an evangelistic approach allowing Lee students the opportunity to witness.

Lee students will need to be well-prepared. Equality Riders are armed with Dr. White’s commentary, “What The Bible Says and Does Not Say About Homosexuality“.

The Bible never mentions the word “homosexuality.” Neither does it mention drug abuse, nor alcohol. God’s Word deals more with behaviors. I believe that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and God gave us sex as a gift to be enjoyed within a marriage of one man and one woman.

Linked to: Argghhh!, Is It Just Me?, Don Surber

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