Soulforce Launches 2008 Equality Ride as Liberty U. Welcomes Them


The gay Christian group Soulforce kicked off its annual Soulforce Equality Ride yesterday with a visit to Liberty University, now run by Jerry Falwell, Jr., the son of its founder. His father, the Reverend Jerry Falwell died in May of last year.

This year's ride will visit 15 schools in the South, of various denominations. The ride's goal is to converse with students and faculty, as well as hold public forums and worship services in an effort to promote tolerance and facilitate a welcoming atmosphere for all students at the school. This year 17 LGBT young adults are on the ride.

Said Katie Higgins, Co-director of the Equality Ride last week, before yesterday's event: "We are in contact with Liberty students who have been waiting for the Equality Ride to return. We cannot let them down. We bring hope to students who fear expulsion or other sanctions just for being themselves. We tell them that God loves them just as they are, and we speak up for a community where everyone can learn without fear."

In 2006, Soulforce 24 Soulforce riders were arrested at Liberty U. after Jerry Falwell, the University's founder, warned them they were not welcome. Yesterday, Soulforce riders were met by students who welcomed them on to the campus, and into the campus library.

Watch a report on the visit, which could not have been more different, AFTER THE JUMP...