A group of traveling protesters took their message about gays to the Oral Roberts campus in Tulsa on Monday. Their goal was to talk to ORU students about the school's administration who they say practice religion based oppression.
News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren was there as several of the protesters were arrested. Protester Jacob Reitan: â€œWe're here to say at ORU end religion based discrimination once and for all!"
More than 30 protesters called "Soulforce Equality Riders" stood in the cold across the street from Oral Roberts University. On the other side, a cluster of Tulsa Police waited for them to make their move.
Tulsa Police Sgt Kim Presley: "They were notified prior to arriving here by an officer as well as personnel of Oral Roberts University that if they showed up on private property they would be arrested."
The Soulforce Equality Riders are on a 2 month nationwide bus tour, making stops at religious and military colleges.
They say they're trying to walk onto these campuses to talk with students about religion-based discrimination going on in their schools. Protester Rachel Powell: "We have students on this campus that we know are gay and are closeted. We have students who are straight and want to support those who are gay and closeted, but can't less they be set under investigation."
The group targeted ORU as a good place to protest because of the universityâ€™s â€œCode of Honor Pledge.â€ In it, ORU students pledge not to engage in unscriptural sexual acts including homosexual activity.
Rachel Powell: "Heterosexual people can fall in love on this campus, date hold hands. Homosexual people can not."
ORU responded in a written statement. In it they say they do not discriminate, "anyone who is willing to sign and abide by the code of honor is welcome to attend ORU." But they made it clear the protesters were not welcome.
Every one who tried to walk on campus was arrested and taken away from the school. Tulsa Police cited the protesters with misdemeanor trespassing. They could face fines and will be scheduled for a court appearance.