LOUISVILLE (KY) - 12 young adults have been arrested for conducting a sit-in outside of the office of Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS).

After recent inflammatory comments by Albert Mohler, leaders of the Equality Ride eastbound bus decided to reroute temporarily in order to demand an apology for his remarks. Earlier this year, Mohler encouraged the intentional prevention of  homosexuality.

In an article on his website, Mohler wrote, "If a biological  basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin."

Twenty-two Equality Riders sat in Norton Hall at SBTS awaiting a response from Mohler. After about 75 minutes, the vice president of communications listened to a statement read by Jarrett Lucas, co-director of the Equality Ride. Afterwards, the administrator informed the group that Mohler was unwilling to meet with them or speak with them via telephone.

An excerpt from the statement reads, "We are gathered here as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to demand that Albert Mohler openly recognize our right to life, love, and liberty. As it stands, his voice is terribly misguided in believing that God does not affirm the identities of gay and transgender people. So, we call on him to take
responsibility for his bigotry and the hurtful effects of his statements, and ask that he issue a public apology for having said them. We have a moral obligation to speak out in the name of truth and justice."

After the statement was read, Louisville Police were called in and informed the group that their peaceful assembly would result in arrest. At that point, a delegation left to stand vigil outside of the Seminary. Twelve Equality Riders, determined to stay until Mohler apologized, remained seated outside of the President's Office. Eventually, they were taken into custody under criminal trespassing charges.

The 2007 Equality Ride is a two-month journey that is taking 50 young adults on two distinct bus routes to schools that actively discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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