George Fox University Reevaluates Discriminatory Policies; Equality Riders Bring Discussion of Christian Faith and LGBT Issues to the Forefront

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: April 5, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Brandon Kneefel, West Bus Media Director
Cell: 612-715-6138, brandon@equalityride.com
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(Newberg, Oregon) — An unprecedented conversation about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality and Christian faith took place on George Fox University campus today as twenty six Equality Riders of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities met with students, faculty, and administrators. Soulforce Equality Riders and George Fox community members spent the day engaged in an intensive dialogue, gathering in the student commons, in classrooms, in the cafeteria, and on the campus green.

Another student said to Equality Riders who spoke in her class, "I really saw in you all what Christians can and should be."

Many students said that they were unaware of George Fox University’s discriminatory policy toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and were disappointed to learn that such a policy existed on their campus. The George Fox University 2006-07 Student Life Handbook includes "homosexual behavior" in a list of infractions leading to consequences that range from "a process of community accountability" to suspension or dismissal.

In debriefing, one student host said, "Meeting with all of you has helped me to realize the need to reevaluate this issue because I truly am only beginning to understand."

The Equality Ride is a two month national tour of fifty young adults on two buses striving to end religion-based discrimination on Christian campuses. One bus is eastbound and one bus is westbound. Along with George Fox, the westbound bus has received many welcomes onto campus and has been able to share this message of inclusion across the Midwest and Pacific Coast, while the eastbound bus has been silenced and met with contempt as they visit many colleges and universities in the south.

Amy Brainer-Medellin, stop co-organizer, said, "On its website, George Fox University includes as values ‘a concern for social justice, a commitment to peace and nonviolence, and a belief in the equality of all people.’ We as Soulforce Equality Riders affirm these values and call on George Fox University to live them out with regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals."

The Equality Riders will continue their mission to end religion-based discrimination against the LGBT community as they visit Brigham Young University, Idaho in mid-April. The next stop on the Ride will be Seattle Pacific University and Northwest University, where Equality Riders will engage in a welcomed dialogue regarding both school’s discriminatory policies.


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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