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Amid Controversy, Evangelical Speaker Bradlee Dean Addresses SCSU [AUDIO, GALLERY]

 

ST. CLOUD – Nationally known and highly controversial speaker Rev. Bradlee Dean brought his message to a mixed group of supporters and critics Tuesday night.

Dean’s talk, as well as his performance with his band, “Junkyard Prophet,” came on the heels of multiple state GOP officials’ warnings to SCSU’s College Republicans organization not to allow the talk to go on as planned.

Dean, who has been accused of delivering a strong anti-gay message in the past, stressed his goal isn’t to slander anyone, but to share his own story and message.

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While Dean supporter turnout was fairly low, the event was met with a strong showing of opposition by local NOH8 movement members.

The gay rights activist group, which included nearly 100 students and other community members, hosted a rally outside the Ritsche Auditorium prior to Dean’s talk.

NOH8 member and protest organizer, Justin Michael, said the demonstration’s high turnout shows those who support Dean and his message are the minority on SCSU’s campus.

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NOH8 demonstrators later filed into the auditorium during the event, silently carrying signs before breaking into a brief chant.

Dean is an Annandale pastor and founder of the ministry, “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International.” He came into prominence after being denounced by state officials, including MN House Speaker Kurt Zellers, following a controversial prayer in the State Capitol last year.

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