Five Arrested at Mississippi College; Members of Nationwide Journey of Gay and Straight Young Adult Leaders Challenge Anti-gay Policy

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: March 22, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bronwen Tomb, East Bus Media Assistant
Cell: 612-715-6284, bronwen@equalityride.com
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(Clinton, MS) — Five young adults were arrested today for walking onto the campus of Mississippi College to engage students in dialogue. These individuals, part of the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride, came to speak with students at the university about its discriminatory policy towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and the doctrine that sustains it.

Those arrested were Amy Scott, 22, from Azusa, CA; Katie Higgins, 24, from Charleston, SC; Vince Pancucci, 20, from Merced, CA; Kyle DeVries, 20, from Tallahassee, FL; and Michael Ide, 22, from Picayune, MS, who co-coordinated this visit at Mississippi College. Pancucci and Ide were arrested as they attempted to deliver a posterboard mosaic to the university’s statue of Jesus. The posterboard contained pictures of Equality Riders and quoted Mark 9:37, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

Despite the arrests, riders and students engaged in constructive dialogue about sexuality, gender, and faith. Rider Brandy Daniels states, "It was exciting and encouraging to see students cross school boundaries to engage in conversation. It really demonstrates that this is a conversation that students want to have, despite the opposition of the administration."

"We come to these campuses to create dialogue and to be a support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," Daniels said. "Mississippi College teaches that LGBT people are sick and sinful. But, we know and express that God affirms LGBT people in their identity and truth."

Mississippi College is one of 32 Christian colleges and universities that Soulforce will visit as part of its second annual Soulforce Equality Ride. The 2007 Equality Ride is a 2 month journey by bus that is taking 50 young adults on 2 distinct routes to schools that actively discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mississippi College is a private Christian college located in Clinton, Mississippi. Their student handbook includes "homosexual activities" in a list of improprieties subject to disciplinary sanctions.


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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