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Gays Arrested At Falwell Run University


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Gays Arrested At Falwell Run University

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

March 10, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Lynchburg, Virginia) Twenty members of the Soulforce the Equality Ride were arrested Friday as they attempted to discuss LGBT civil rights with students at Liberty University.

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the university's chancellor warned Wednesday that members of the non-denominational group were not welcome at the school. (story)

Campus police, on instructions from Falwell, were waiting Friday as the bus carrying the Equality riders stopped in front of the campus. As members, mostly young people, one by one read from a prepared statement and then stepped onto the grounds they were arrested and charged with trespassing.

Liberty University is the first stop for the Equality Ride.

Thirty-five young adults are crossing the country visiting schools that ban the enrollment of LGBT students. Outside Liberty University they were met by about 30 supporters.

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," Reitan, co-director of Equality Ride told the Associated Press. "We have a right to question and to show how we are children of God."

The ride departed Thursday from outside the offices of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) which represents fifteen of the eighteen schools on the Equality Ride route.

Reitan and other Soulforce members said they did not intend to be arrested at the campus, but just hoped to talk to Liberty students.

Two of those arrested were also charged with inciting trespassing. They were restrained in plastic handcuffs before being taken to a local magistrate.

It is not the first time Soulforce has demonstrated at Liberty University.

Last spring the group was greeted with cookies not police when members met with Liberty students on campus.

The Soulforce Equality Ride is expected to take 51 days.

©365Gay.com 2006


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