Eleven Equality Riders Arrested on the Campus of the Air Force Academy

For Immediate Release
Contact: Richard Lindsay, 646-258-7193

(Colorado Springs, CO) – Military police descended on Equality Riders, handcuffed, and detained them, when they attempted to present a check for signing to the commandant of the Air Force Academy. The check was made out to the Department of Defense from U.S. taxpayers for 364 million dollars, the amount the government has spent training lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender U.S. service members who have been discharged because of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy.

"This check represents an unacceptable waste of money for the purpose of taxpayer-supported discrimination," said Jacob Reitan, Equality Ride co-director. "There was a time when the armed forces were segregated. That kind of discrimination in our public institutions was wrong then and it is wrong now."

Reitan continued, "What’s more, the Air Force Academy is a public university where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students need not apply."

In addition to presenting the check, Equality Riders were arrested for distributing literature, making public speeches and unfurling a banner that read, "End the Ban!"

Among those arrested was Equality Rider Kevin Mumaugh, who was born at the Air Force Academy and baptized in the school’s famous chapel.

"It is time to end this government-sanctioned discrimination toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," Mumaugh said. "It is time this country recognizes the right of all American citizens to serve their country."

For more information on the Soulforce Equality Ride stop at the Air Force Academy, see: www.equalityride.com/airforce.

The Soulforce Equality Ride is a journey to change the heart and mind of America on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Following in the footsteps of the Freedom Rides of the 1960’s, the Equality Ride uses principles of non-violence to confront military and religious colleges and universities with policies banning enrollment of LGBT students. The Equality Riders reflect on the lessons of history, which have shown past religion-based discrimination against women, people of color, and religious minorities to be an unacceptable abuse of the sanctity of religion. At each of the 19 schools on the 51-day bus tour, the young adult ambassadors of the Equality Ride bring this simple message to students, faculty and administrators: Learn from history; end religion-based discrimination.

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