Three gay rights activists were arrested for trespassing at a Christian university on Friday after attempting to deliver letters advocating for the acceptance of LGBT students. The activists, all women, are affiliated with Soulforce’s Equality Ride, which is touring university campuses across the South this fall to promote religious tolerance of gay students.
The Equality Riders met with one student during their stop at Heritage Christian University in Florence, Ala., who described the atmosphere on campus as a “homophobic panic.” Faculty and students had been warned by school administrators not to communicate with the Riders.
The three arrested were Caitlin MacIntyre, 19; Katie Higgins, 26; and Taueret Manu, 21. Equality Ride codirector Jarrett Lucas said in a statement that the university is clearly unwelcoming of LGBT people. “The school’s choice to arrest us shows just how far they will go to suppress the message we bring,” Lucas said. “HCU trains missionaries to go beyond the walls of their school to spread the inclusive gospel of Christ, but today they chose not to uphold the principles they preach.”
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