The Soulforce Equality Ride, a two-month bus tour of colleges and universities that discriminate against LGBT students, concluded with a stop at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn., on Apr 26. Some 50 young adults of diverse sexual orientations and faith participated in the second-annual ride, which is modeled after the Freedom Rides of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
During the ride, which began on March 8, two separate buses traversed the United States to visit 32 Christian colleges and universities that either expel or do not admit LGBT students. Riders confronted the discriminatory policies of institutions by engaging in dialogue with students and administrations, and pursuing acts of civil disobedience, sometimes resulting in arrest, when dialogue was refused.
Riders on the eastbound bus enjoyed a surprise stopover in New York City on Apr 14, when they pulled into a special reception at g Lounge in Manhattan. Out lesbian City Councilmember Rosie Mendez (pictured, third from right) presented them with a proclamation signed by herself and out lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. A representative for Congressman Jerrold Nadler also recognized the riders.
Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization dedicated to relentless nonviolent resistance in the name of freedom for LGBT people from religious and political oppression.