“We don’t turn them away because of a gay orientation, but we require them, like we do everyone, to be celibate unless married,” he said. Wright said gays attend APU, which has 9,000 students, faculty and staff. He said the day was about listening and learning, treating people with dignity and not exposing anyone to unnecessary shame. “Everyone has the right to live together in peace without violence,” Wright said. Soulforce spokesman Richard Lindsay said the group wants to put a human face on their cause and get schools to change anti-gay policies, so students can feel safe in expressing their sexual orientation. Tiffany Porter, APU student body president, said students were up for the challenge of trading Bible verses with their guests and saw the visit as healthy. “Students are not here to win a point,” Porter said. “It’s more like `Help me understand your experiences and what you deal with as a result of your lifestyle.’ Students want to walk in their shoes.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventAt APU, an evangelical Christian college, the theme of the day, “Love, Listen and Learn,” found Soulforce members, APU students and staff mostly behind closed-door sessions and in discussion forums for eight hours. APU student Greg Pereira said the student body was curious about the group’s visit, wondering whether it would be peaceful. Pereira, 21, said society in general still grapples with same-sex couples, and college students are no different. “The Christian view is to uphold social justice, and give everyone equal rights,” Pereira said. “While you may not agree with the lifestyle, it’s about not limiting someone’s rights, in my opinion.” APU’s philosophy is that sexual intimacy should be expressed within marriage between a man and a woman, said David Wright, dean of the school of theology. AZUSA – Thirty-three young adults, primarily gay Christians, visited Azusa Pacific University on Wednesday to spread the message that God loves them, too. The members of the 51-day nationwide bus trip, Soulforce Equality Ride, are visiting 19 military and religious colleges they believe force students into the closet because they cannot acknowledge they are gay. Soulforce Inc. is a nonprofit group formed in the late 1990s by the Rev. Mel White, a former Pasadena resident who was a ghostwriter for televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson before going public that he is gay. He is the author of “Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America.” The group confronts those who use religion as a reason to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgenders.