Ken Ham Event at Okla. Univ. Canceled Due to LGBT Group; Univ. Sponsors Drag Queen, Safe Sex Carnival
An event with Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham as the featured speaker has been dropped by the University of Central Oklahoma after an LGBT campus group complained about his beliefs.
"So the name 'Ken Ham' seems to invoke fear in the hearts and minds of the increasingly intolerant LGBTQ movement," Ham wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
"Pressure from a professor leading the LGBTQ group at the University of Central Oklahoma has resulted in my invitation to give a presentation on campus being cancelled, even though the university signed a contract. So much for 'toleration' and ignoring the university's promise for free inquiry and expression."
Paul Blair, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, who worked with a campus student group to arrange Ham's speech at Constitution Hall, revealed that the university spends tax dollars on other events, such as drag queen shows and a "Safe Sex Carnival."
According to Answers in Genesis, Ham was scheduled for March to give a talk, titled "Genesis and the State of the Culture," where he would have addressed different worldviews when it comes to interpreting scientific evidence.
After the cancellation, Blair said the young-earth creationist will instead speak at his church near the campus on March 5.
"Since the doors of our public university are closed, we will open our doors for interested students and members of our community to hear what Ken has to share," Blair said in a statement.
"I am greatly disappointed that a university that boasts of being 'discrimination free' on its website openly discriminates against the free speech rights of Christians on the campus."
Ham has in the past challenged LGBT advocates. In July 2017, he announced that his life-sized Noah's Ark replica at the Ark Encounter in Kentucky would be lit up with permanent rainbow lights, as a way of attempting to reclaim the rainbow symbol.
"The Ark is lit permanently at night with a rainbow to remind the world that God owns it and He decreed it's a sign of His covenant with man after the Flood — Christians need to take back the rainbow as we do at the Ark Encounter," Ham said at the time.
Blair explained that a tenured professor, who sponsors LGBT campus clubs, was one of the leading figures behind the push for UCO to agree to bar Ham from speaking, though he did not provide the professor's name.
"However, there is more spice in the background. Our kids were shocked to learn that a Drag Queen Show has been sponsored by the university and received university funding. The university logo was placed on promotional materials," the pastor explained.
"This tenured professor, who organized the resistance against Ken, also sponsors a Safe Sex Carnival. Their Facebook page showed, among other things, learning games where UCO students could throw [word deleted] at cardboard cutouts of [words deleted]."
Blair said that such an "obvious discrimination against Christianity on campus" should "outrage" citizens of Oklahoma.
"Why are our tax dollars being spent on this garbage? Where is the accountability and oversight of higher ed? We are not Cal-Berkeley; we are Oklahoma," he concluded.
The pastor was referencing the University of California at Berkeley, one of America's leading colleges, which stirred major controversy and a free speech debate over its cancellations last year of planned conservative speaker events, such as author and pundit Ann Coulter.