Fear Leads to Arrests at Central Bible College

Straight Equality Riders Arrested in National Campaign to Address Religion-Based Discrimination

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: March 12, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kyle DeVries, East Bus Media Director
Cell: 612-715-6284, kyle@equalityride.com
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(Springfield, MO) — This morning two young adults were arrested for attempting to enter the campus of Central Bible College. Abigail Reikow and Brandy Daniels, both straight women, stepped onto campus in order to talk with students about religion-based discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. The Central Bible College student handbook lists "homosexuality" and "lesbianism" as possible grounds for probation or suspension.

Reikow and Daniels are participants in the Soulforce Equality Ride, a nationwide journey of 50 young adults on two buses who are visiting conservative Christian colleges to open a dialogue about the painful consequences of discrimination and the religion-based prejudice that sustains it. Like many of the Equality Riders, Daniels comes from an evangelical Christian background. She was raised in the Assemblies of God, a charismatic Christian faith. Central Bible College is considered the flagship school of the Assemblies of God.

The 25 Riders on the eastbound bus arrived in Springfield Saturday evening and participated in community events all day Sunday. Today Equality Riders arrived at Central Bible College and held a silent vigil in honor of the LGBT students who have been harmed and silenced by CBC’s discriminatory policy. "Central Bible College had a wonderful opportunity to engage in conversation about faith and sexuality with a new perspective added, but they chose to reject an affirming voice and went so far as to arrest two heterosexual Equality Riders who wanted to address their peers," said Jarrett Lucas, co-director of the East Bus.

The Equality Riders remained undeterred in their determination to bring a message of inclusion and academic freedom to Central Bible College. Reikow and Daniels walked onto the campus in order to talk with students exiting from CBC’s worship service. Springfield police immediately arrested both women for criminal trespassing.

The vigil and civil disobedience action came after campus officials refused the Equality Ride’s attempts to initiate dialogue. Today’s civil disobedience was conducted in a spirit of nonviolence, in the hopes of creating conversation among students about discrimination against LGBT students. Central Bible College is the second stop for the East Bus of the Soulforce Equality Ride. The first stop was at Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA where the Equality Riders were invited onto campus and dialogue was welcomed.


Soulforce Q is the young adult division of Soulforce, a social justice organization that works to end political and religious oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. For more information go to www.soulforce.org or www.equalityride.com.

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