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Creationist Invited To UCO, Following Cancellation Controversy

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A controversial creationist will speak at the University of Central Oklahoma after all. A controversial creationist will speak at the University of Central Oklahoma after all.
EDMOND, Oklahoma -

A controversial creationist will speak at the University of Central Oklahoma after all.

After being invited, then uninvited from the campus earlier this month, Ken Ham is set to speak at the Edmond campus.

Student body president, Stockton Duvall originally invited Ham then rescinded the invitation.

Read Related Story: Creationist’s Speech Canceled At UCO

The UCOSA leaders says he was bullied into the decision by student groups, but the groups deny this.

National news outlets caught word of the rescinded invitation over the past few weeks.

Thursday, the UCO President Don Betz extended his own invitation to Ham, but added forums on evolution and free speech surrounding it.

“I think it’s a good learning moment, for sure, for all of us to recognize that this institution is in fact committed to freedom of expression, freedom of speech,” said Charlie Johnson, vice president of communications for the University of Central Oklahoma.

The pastor who helped reach out to Ham, Dave Mehlhaff, questions Betz’s motives, and the addition of the evolution speech.

“He’s basically floating this public relations agenda, I’m going to call it that for lack of a better term, basically to make sure both sides are covered and everybody’s happy,” Mehlhaff said.

What made people so unhappy in the first place, are Ham’s anti-LGBTQ expressions.

UCO’s Student Alliance for Equality, or SAFE, says they had no part in the decision to rescind the invitation, and support freedom of speech.

“Even though I don’t personally agree with or like the idea that Ken Ham is coming to our campus, I do think it’s the best move on the university’s part to kind of show support for freedom of speech,” SAFE President Rachel Watson said.

The UCO Women’s Research Center and BLGTQ Student Center say they were only upset that funding would have come out of students’ pockets for the original visit.

Ham will now be paid from donations left to the UCO president’s discretion.

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