One of South Florida’s most outspoken pastors will deliver his teachings outside North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art, even though one councilman is adamantly opposed to it.
Earlier this week, the North Miami City Council voted in favor of picking up Pastor Jack Hakimian’s expenses when he delivers his remarks on the National Day of Prayer on May 2.
Councilman Scott Galvin wishes that wouldn’t happen.
“I totally agree that he has the right to say what he wants and to assemble in public to say it,” Galvin said. “The taxpayers shouldn’t be writing the check to cover his expenses – that's where I draw the line.”
Galvin estimates that it will cost the city $5,000 to bring in a stage, sound system and staffers for Hakimian, who is the pastor of the Impact Miami Church.
The pastor is well-known in South Florida’s religious circles. Some people consider his sermons to include anti-gay speech that is offensive to many in Florida’s LGBT community.
Galvin said he’s offended by Hakimian’s fiery speeches, as well as his fellow council members’ vote.
“They turned an absolutely deaf ear to that and didn't even hesitate to vote yes by a 4-1 margin,” Galvin said.
Hakimian said recently he believes that history shows that homosexuality hurts a society.
“The practice of homosexuality has a slow, degenerative consequence, when it comes to morality, when it comes to the way that it begins to spread,” he said in an interview with South Florida Gay News.
Hakimian insists his words are not anti-gay. Rather, they are teachings from the Bible, he says.
While Galvin is fired up over the matter, North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre isn’t moved.
“This is not about Pastor Jack, this is about National Day of Prayer, and this is about the mission itself,” he said at the council’s meeting. “So to me, this is a great thing for the city of North Miami.”
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