Pastors Speak Out About Holding Controversial National Prayer Day Event at North Miami City Hall

North Miami councilmembers recently voted 4-1 in favor of waiving fees for the event.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    While some are opposed to controversial anti-gay pastor Jack Hakimian participating at a National Prayer Day event paid for by North Miami Beach City Hall, he says he is the one being discriminated against for voicing his opinion. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports. (Published Thursday, Apr 18, 2013)

    Christian pastors from a non-profit group called "Mission Miami" spoke out Thursday about holding a National Prayer Day Event paid for by North Miami City Hall.

    The May 2nd event has drawn controversy after the North Miami City Council voted in favor of waving fees associated with the event, headed by Pastor Jack Hakimian, whose sermons some consider to include anti-gay speech.

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

    [MI] North Miami Taxpayers Shouldn't Pay for Expenses of Pastor Speaking on National Day of Prayer,
    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)

    But Hakimian says he is the one being discriminated against for voicing his beliefs.

    "Different viewpoints is not 'anti' and is not 'hate,'" he said. "It just means that we have a different sexual ethics, and as most of the population in the world believe in traditional marriage."

    Pastor Apologizes to Gay Man at North Miami Inclusion Forum

    [MI] Pastor Apologizes to Gay Man at North Miami Inclusion Forum
    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)

    Hakimian said recently he believes that homosexuality hurts 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.

    VIDEO: Taxpayers Shouldn't Pay for Pastor on National Prayer Day, Councilman Says

    Members of Equality Florida, a gay rights group, also spoke at Thursday's press conference.

    "We're here because we want to call on the city commission to reverse its decision to subsidize this pastor," said Stratton Pollitzer, an Equality Florida member. pastor jack is known for terr hate speech toward the gay community, for demonizing our families."

    The city's own openly gay councilmember, Scott Galvin, opposes footing the bill for the Prayer Day event.

    Galvin estimates that it will cost the city $5,000 to pay for the National Prayer Day event.

    The group of pastors said they are just like any other non-profit group that often get fees waived by local officials.

    "We are here to pray for the city," Pastor David Vega said. "We're here to pray for the mayor, to pray for the councilmen. We're here to pray for everyone in this city. We believe in a city that can be transformed."