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Feral - Mar 09, 2007 - 09:05 AM
Post subject: SoulForce's Equality Ride
Equality Ride bus defaced on FIRST stop

As we've said before here on the Blend, the obsessed fundie homobigots never sleep.

I was surfing over to my Tar Heel blogger buddy Matt Hill Comer's pad to see how the launch of the 2007 Soulforce Ride was going, and lo and behold -- they didn't make it very far before the haters came out and defaced the bus on the very first stop of the 18-stop tour for the East Route bus, Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. I'm sure Soulforce will have more details to come on this.

The Equality Ride is taking 50 participants to 32 Christian colleges and universities and hold discussions with students, faculty, and administrators about the damaging effects of homophobia, and dispel the notion that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and TG people are sick and sinful.

Look at the obscenities on the bus.

The pictures can be had at the link, or at their source, Interstate Q.

SoulFource is blogging the adventure, should you wish to follow it.
Kyleovision - Mar 09, 2007 - 04:19 PM
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Lest we think this was just a matter of some teenager sneaking up and doing a bit of grafitti....

Sioux CIty (IA) Journal:

Wednesday night, three vehicles repeatedly circled the hotel where the riders were staying, DeVries said, and the people in them were making lewd comments and gestures such as dropping their pants. Thursday morning, he said they woke up to find anti-gay slurs, including foul language, written on the side of the bus.

"We're prepared to run into things like this, but we didn't expect it on the first night," he said. The riders left Minneapolis on Wednesday to start their tour east across the country. "That this happened really shows how these words become actions. If you have an anti-gay policy, it's only a matter of time until someone takes it to the extreme of vandalism, which can lead to violence."

Feral - Mar 10, 2007 - 08:14 PM
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Dordt College officials apologize to harassed gay activists

Officials with Dordt College in Sioux Center have apologized to a gay organization that was harassed there earlier this week.


College officials were "saddened" to learn about the vandalism, said Dordt spokesman Norlan De Groot. The school apologized to the group and the incident was reported to police.

"We don't want to see that happen here," De Groot said.

Kyleovision - Mar 14, 2007 - 06:26 PM
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Soulforce arrests at Oklahoma Baptist University.
Kyleovision - Mar 16, 2007 - 09:52 AM
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Second day of OBU arrests.
berto - Mar 16, 2007 - 11:45 AM
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[aside] Every time I see the initials "OBU", I unavoidably think of this bunch. [/aside]
Kyleovision - Mar 16, 2007 - 03:47 PM
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[aside] Every time I see the initials "OBU", I unavoidably think of this bunch. [/aside]

Now, you know we Merikans don't go in for that commie kinda stuff. Razz
Feral - Mar 17, 2007 - 04:41 PM
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‘Equality riders’ were turned away elsewhere but welcomed at Nazarene university.

Gay-rights activists and MidAmerica Nazarene University officials disagree strongly on how colleges should treat gay and lesbian students.

But that didn’t keep them from meeting congenially over the last two days to talk about their differences.

MidAmerica Nazarene, a religious college in Olathe affiliated with the Kansas City-based Church of the Nazarene, was targeted for a visit by the Soulforce Equality Riders. The group of gay-rights activists is traveling the country to battle discrimination against gay people on college campuses.

Some targeted colleges ban the activists from campus, and in some cases they’ve been arrested for trespassing.

But not at MidAmerica Nazarene, where administrators warn students they can be disciplined and even dismissed if they engage in sexual activity with members of the same sex.

The college decided to welcome the activists, hosting them for a dinner with student leaders on Thursday night and six classroom presentations on Friday.

Feral - Mar 23, 2007 - 06:54 PM
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SoulForce riders arrested at Brighan Young University in Utah and Mississippi College in Mississippi.
berto - Mar 26, 2007 - 02:05 PM
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Here's a look at two Souforce activists:

Meet the Vinces. Or, as friends call them, Vince C. -- short for Cervantes -- and Vince P. -- for Pancucci.

Talking to the young couple, it's hard to imagine that less than a year ago each underwent exorcisms or other religious "treatments" intended to de-gay them while they were students at the same Christian college in California.

"I was about ready to end my life," recalls Cervantes, 19. "No matter how many exorcisms I went through, no matter how many times I cried and asked God to change me, I wasn't changing."

Yes, you read that right. Exorcisms.

Wrestling with being gay fundamentalist Christians, their paths merged last August. Through prayer, Scripture reading and listening to their hearts, they came to understand their sexual orientation is a God-given identity. And they soon fell in love. Or, as Cervantes describes it, "I felt God opened a door for me."

At school, they bravely posted testimonials about how it hurt to hear being gay called "sinful" and "immoral" in chapel. School administrators ripped down their testimonials and threatened expulsion.

Refusing to abandon their relationship, the couple left school and became domestic partners under California law, gaining nearly all the state-level rights and responsibilities of married heterosexuals. Outside a chapel, they exchanged vows. Only then, feeling married in the eyes of God, did they become sexually intimate.

*sniffle* (where's my hankies?)

Dedicating themselves to helping other gay Christians, they became Equality Riders, faithful young adults who travel by bus to Christian colleges to carry hope to closeted gay students and share their experiences with all students and faculty.


Pancucci, 20, who like Cervantes has been arrested along the way, says, "We don't want anyone else to have to question whether they can be gay and Christian. We want to go to schools and say, 'Hey, it's OK to come out of the closet and rejoice in who you are.'"

Cervantes revels in knowing the ride is changing hearts. At one Christian college, a young woman took him aside: "She broke down and said, 'I can see your love for your husband is no different from mine for my husband.'"

Feral - Mar 27, 2007 - 07:12 PM
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Gay Activists Arrested

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Members of a gay rights group were arrested Monday after staging a sit-in at a Baptist seminary whose president is drawing criticism for his comments on prenatal treatments that would influence a child's sexual orientation.

The group, Soulforce, attempted to meet with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's president, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., an influential evangelical leader.

Twelve were charged with criminal trespassing - a misdemeanor - and booked into jail, Louisville police said.

The sit-in in front of Mohler's office lasted about two hours, said Jarrett Lucas, a co-director of a Soulforce tour that is visiting Christian colleges.

Feral - Mar 30, 2007 - 04:47 AM
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Two Students and One Equality Rider Arrested for Standing on Public Sidewalk Outside of University of the Cumberlands

(Williamsburg, KY) -- Today, three young adults were arrested for standing on the public sidewalk perimeter of University of the Cumberlands. Twenty-two young adults from the Soulforce Equality Ride traveled to the university to speak messages affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.

When the Equality Riders arrived at the University of the Cumberlands, police from throughout Whitley County surrounded the bus and the Riders were immediately informed that any attempt to enter onto campus would result in arrest. The riders exited the bus and lined up along the street in order to stand vigil but were promptly told by police that they were not allowed to stand along the public sidewalk.


One Equality Rider, Jake Reitan, was arrested for standing still along the sidewalk, although he was given no warning or order to disperse. Upon seeing this, two students from the University of the Cumberlands decided to stand on the sidewalk. After about 15 minutes they were arrested by the police.

Feral - Apr 05, 2007 - 10:48 AM
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More Gay Equality Riders Arrested

(Greenville, South Carolina) Three members of a gay rights group who tried to enter a Christian fundamentalist college campus Wednesday were arrested and charged with trespassing.

Members of Soulforce, a Lynchburg, Va.-based organization, stood mostly silent outside the gates at Bob Jones University, but when three activists tried to walk on to campus, they were handcuffed. Curious students stood on a walkway and watched the arrests.

The gay rights activists wanted to enter the campus to speak with students and university officials about policies they contend discriminate against homosexuals.

``I think this shows the great lengths we're willing to go through to bring dialogue,'' said Amanda Harris, 22, of Little Rock, Ark. ``We're willing to stand out here among people who hate us to bring a message of hope.''

Is that what they think this shows? I had wondered. In that case, I'm afraid I have to accuse the SoulForce people of a lack of imagination. Trying to walk onto a campus is not such an impressive length to be willing to go to in order to produce dialog. I'm not in the least bit surprised that it proves less than successful.

Damn handy way of routinely getting your organization's name in the papers though. Of course, were one to tally up the bus rental, the gas money, the bail money, and the fines ('cuz they're quite guilty of these trespassing raps) -- it just might be cheaper to buy ads in the relevant papers. I mean, really, how many column inches are we talking about here?

Of course, that would be cruel... tallying up the costs of this extravaganza. Besides... they are free to spend their money on whatever pleases them best.
vanrozenheim - Apr 16, 2007 - 02:30 AM
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Christian college hosts gay activists
Some 25 straight and gay young people from Soulforce, a mostly Christian association, will spend a few days speaking with students at Gordon College, a small evangelical Christian institution in Wenham. Their arrival is creating chatter on a campus whose stated policy prohibits students from engaging in “homosexual acts.”

“Our primary goal on the equality rise is really just to talk to students,” said Kyle DeVries, a member of the group. “Being gay is part of who I am, so anything I do is a homosexual act.”

Muwhahaha! The boy has a sharp tongue. Wink
Feral - Apr 16, 2007 - 09:17 PM
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He does ... and he has a touch of sense as well. Everything the lad does is a homosexual act.

Of the 14 college stops the east-traveling bus has made, Gordon will be only the fifth to invite the group onto campus, DeVries said.

Other Christian colleges have brought in police officers to keep the group off its property, he said.

Gordon administrators are planning events and will let the group address students and staff. Gordon officials will follow Soulforce presentations with a response.

This is a new one on me. Gordon is the first instance that has come to my attention of such a school allowing SoulForce's presentation. Seems it's really the fifth.
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