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Seven Arrested In Gay Protest At Christian School


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Seven Arrested In Gay Protest At Christian School

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

March 14, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Virginia Beach, Virginia) Seven members of a nondenominational group protesting at universities that the organization says bar LGBT students were arrested Tuesday afternoon as they tried to enter the Regent University campus in Virginia Beach.

The university is affiliated with Christian Broadcaster Pat Robertson.

The arrests came on the second day of demonstrations by members of the Equality Ride. The seven were charged with trespassing and later released without bond.

Last week 24 members of the group were arrested when the entered Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. (story)

Regent was the second of 18 schools the Equality riders will visit on their 51 day trip across the country.

Organized by the non-denominational group Soulforce the Equality Ride was inspired by the Freedom Rides of the 1950s and 60s.

The thirty-five young adults taking part in the ride want to engage students in discussions about gay equality and the school's decisions to bar enrolment of gays.

Yesterday a number of students left the campus to meet with the riders.

"Students were told today that if they left the campus to speak to us they would not be allowed back in," Jacob Reitan, one of the organizers of the Equality Ride, told 365Gay.com.

Reitan said that as students came to the entrance of the campus to talk to them riders crossed onto school property and were arrested.

All six were later released.

Regent University originally said it would welcome the Equality Ride but later changed its mind.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Randall Pannell said the the school has no such policy, something Soulforce continues to dispute, pointing to the Regent University student handbook which states "...homosexual conduct or any other conduct, which violates Biblical standards, is prohibited."

On Thursday the Equality Riders will visit Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.

©365Gay.com 2006

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