Gay-rights group members arrested during protest

April 18, 2007 http://www.magicvalley.com

REXBURG, Idaho - Members of a gay-rights group were arrested for trespassing during a protest on the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho.

The eight members of the Soulforce Equality Ride were warned before the protest Monday that they would be cited for trespassing if they ventured on the private college's grounds, officials said.

The group, which promotes rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by protesting on the campuses of religious colleges, told BYU-Idaho authorities in November that the school was on its spring itinerary.

Brandon Kneefel, a Soulforce spokesman, said the group sought to "be present for students suffering in the closet."

BYU-Idaho spokesman Marc Stevens said the school gave the same response to Soulforce that it gives to all activist groups.

"BYU-Idaho is a private university that can't be used by any outside group to advocate its position," he said.

The group was given a map of the campus so it could find a place to set up without trespassing. Stevens said the trespassing was an orchestrated, staged media event.

Misdemeanor trespassing carries a maximum fine of $100.

Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com

A service of the Associated Press(AP)