North Miami Taxpayers Shouldn't Pay for Expenses of Pastor Speaking on National Day of Prayer, Councilman Says

The North Miami City Council voted 4-1 to pick up Pastor Jack Hakimian's expenses for his May 2 appearance, with Councilman Scott Galvin casting the dissenting vote

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    One of South Florida s most outspoken pastors will deliver his teachings outside North Miami City Hall, 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. (Published Friday, Apr 12, 2013)

    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.

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    A crowd of about 75 listened to Pastor Jack Hakimian, North Miami City Commissioner Scott Galvin and other speakers discuss religion, homosexuality and gay marriage at the GLBT Inclusion Forum in North Miami Wednesday night. Jamesly Louis broke down as he talked about the constant anti-gay message from his church and how it prompted suicidal thoughts for him. Hakimian, who preaches that homosexuality is a sin, offered his apologies. "Our message isn't go out and harm homosexuals, discriminate against them, treat them bad – it's from a theological perspective, this action is not sanctioned by God," Hakimian told NBC 6 South Florida. Former CBS News correspondent Aleen Sirgany and Rabbi Jory Lang, who moderated the forum, also commented. (Published Thursday, Aug 9, 2012)

    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.”

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    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.

    NBC 6 Videos

    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.

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    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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