Save the Date: SoulForce Equality Ride Coming To Idaho

A group of gay activists from across the country will be bringing their message of equality and religious tolerance to Boise later this month.

The Equality Ride, launched in 2006, targets its tour at college campuses and those communities in which religious oppression and prejudice have major strongholds, most often at the expense of those who are part of sexual orientation or gender identity minorities.

The riders, made up of 17 people ages 19 to 31, work to change homophobic attitudes and polices while offering hope and inspiration to those who are part of the LGBT community.

It’s a tactic that seems to be working.

Several colleges have changed their anti-gay policies because of the Equality Ride. Each year riders expand their conversations to include groups such as Focus on the Family and others that normally would not welcome a pro-equality message.

This isn’t the first time the group has visited Idaho. In 2007, the Equality Ride made stops at BYU-Idaho in Rexberg and at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa.

During the BYU-Idaho stop, eight Riders, including two who grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, were arrested as they attempted to engage the campus in dialogue.

The ride’s parent organization, SoulForce, is no stranger to civil disobedience in the name of religious tolerance. Founder, the Rev. Dr. Mel White, rocked the evangelical christian world after the publication of his 1994 biography, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay And Christian In America.

White, who once was a ghost writer for Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James  Ollie North, and Pat Robertson among others, has been involved in such actions for years.

While the group isn’t expecting anyone to get arrested this year, Equality Ride co-director J. Mason told SiriusXM OutQ last month that riders would still utilize civil disobedience if needed.

The Boise visit, being billed as “An Evening with the Soulforce Equality Riders,” is being presented by Interfaith Alliance of Idaho.

Pam Baldwin, the Alliance’s Executive Director, tells the Idaho Agenda she’s exited to have the ride come back to Idaho.

During a year in which state lawmakers refused to listen to thousands of voices asking for an amendment to add the words “sexual orientation and gender identity” to Idaho’s human rights law, the riders message of non-violent action, acceptance and understanding is an important one.

The stop in Boise will include a potluck dinner, screening of the award-winning documentary film”Love Free or Die” and an informal discussion with the riders themselves.

Baldwin says there will  also be space available for local groups to have informational tables at the event.

“An Evening with the Soulforce Equality Riders” will be held on Tuesday, April 24th, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at The Boise Unitarian Universal  Fellowship located at 6200 North Garrett Street in Boise.

The event is free and open to the public. You are encouraged to bring a dish to share during the dinner.

For more information, or to register to have a table at the event, contact Pam Baldwin at  208-283-6560 or email her at tiaidahopam@gmail.com. You can also visit the Interfaith Alliance of Idaho website by clicking HERE.

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One Response to Save the Date: SoulForce Equality Ride Coming To Idaho

  1. Pingback: LDS Leaders refuse to meet with Soulforce Equality Riders « The Idaho Agenda

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