Soulforce Equality Ride 2008: Stopped In Its Tracks
Soulforce Equality Ride 2008 is a tour through the country by 17 activists looking to promote gay and lesbian rights at conservative southern schools.
Seems harmless enough, unless you are a religious Southern school.
On Monday, Soulforce Equal Riders made an appearance at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC to help reform their ideas on homosexuality and change their ban on homosexuality on campus, as stated in the school’s handbook. CIU is a privately funded fundamentalist school that promotes Christian faith and values.
Prior to the arrival of the activist group, CIU issued a statement saying that the university would not allow Soulforce’s bus to enter the campus, though they did propose that Soulforce meet off-campus. Soulforce refused to do so.
Upon their arrival, Equal Riders were welcomed with police tape and barriers, secluding them to a limited area to talk to the students. Dialogue between the young activists and CIU students was monitored by school officials and faculty. The discussion was eventually broken up by police and Equal Riders were asked to leave the campus.
When a simple discussion about the rights of people on a college campus is seen as such a horrible thing and broken up so forcefully, it really makes a person think back to the days of civil rights marches and meetings. Have we really progressed so little after so long?