Tuesday, April 11, 2006

EQUALITY RIDERS "ARRESTED" AT BYU?

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This is interesting:
Five people were arrested Monday on the campus of Brigham Young University in connection with a pro-gay event presented by an outreach group that is touring religious and conservative colleges.

Three people from the Equality Ride and two supporters were escorted off campus by BYU police after Equality Ride co-director Jacob Reitan tried to give a speech in a campus courtyard, the Deseret News reported.

The other people arrested were Diane Bedwell and Rebecca Solomon from the Equality Ride, and Reitan's parents, Randi and Phil Reitan, who had tried to give a speech about raising a gay son.

The five were issued citations for trespassing and released.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at one time did not allow African-American members," Jacob Reitan said after his release. "Through the church's belief in 'continuing revelation,' that shameful practice has ended. It is time for the LDS to realize that their policies against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are also part of an unacceptable history of religious discrimination."
A few errors in this story.

First, The LDS Church has never witheld membership from blacks, let alone "African-American[s]." Rather, the LDS Church witheld the priesthood (and, as a corollary, temple admission) from blacks.

Second, the activists were not arrested:
Five members of a gay rights group targeting BYU this week were removed from the campus and issued citations on Monday.
I don't think being "removed from the [BYU] campus" amounts to an arrest. The claim that they were arrested is probably an attempt to boost publicity:
"This is the fourth school where we've had arrests take place," said Richard Lindsay, spokesman for the Equality Ride.