Activists Call for Protest Against North Miami for Funding Anti-Gay Pastor

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Scott Galvin’s may be seeing red, and he wants people to wear the color during North Miami’s April 23 meeting.

The red will “represent love,” according to Galvin’s April 19 e-blast, and protest the city’s recent financial backing of a May 2 Day of Prayer event run by anti-gay pastor Jack Hakimian.

The city voted to let Hakimian (commonly known as Pastor Jack) use the MOCA Plaza, its sound system and its staff to run a prayer vigil on May 2, the National Day of Prayer.

The April 9 vote resulted 4-1 in favor of letting Hakimian (who told SFGN he’s not anti-gay, though he preaches homosexuality is a sin that can be undone) use the city’s facilities, which Galvin estimated were valued at around $5,000.

Alongside Galvin, Equality Florida is also encouraging people to show up to the city meeting in protest of the decision.

“Councilman Scott Galvin has been the lone vote opposing the city’s endorsement and financial support of this event, and he needs us to stand with him on Tuesday,” read a statement from Equality Florida.

Though the vote passed, the city can decide to change its mind, per se. The meeting will dedicate a portion to the discussion of the item, per the councilman who brought up the idea in the first place, Michael Blynn.

Hakimian, for his part, is defending the city’s decision.

“The National Day of Prayer is something that’s happened since George Washington,” Hakimian told the city council during its April 9 meeting. “We recognize as citizens that God has placed you guys as stewards, but really the city belongs to the religious, the non-religious, the Jew, the gentile, the atheist, the theist. The city belongs to us.”

On April 22, in an email titled “Councilman lies concerning cost of city resources,” Hakimian said that the actual cost for his Day of Prayer event will be just below $600.

“This Tuesday Council meeting should be interesting,” Hakimian concluded in his letter.

Equality Florida encouraged the community to do all it could, even if not attending.

“If you cannot attend the meeting, please call North Miami City Council and leave the following message: ‘I would like to leave a message for the council members and the mayor. I am appalled that the mayor and city council have voted to use thousands of dollars in city resources to provide a platform to someone who consistently dehumanizes gay people. I am calling on the city to rescind its invitation to Pastor Jack Hakimian.’” The call to arms read. “While the First Amendment gives each of us the right to speak our minds, it does not compel the City of North Miami to legitimize that voice or to use taxpayer resources to give hatred a megaphone.”

The meeting will be held at the North Miami City Hall, at 776 NE 125th Street, North Miami, FL, at 7 p.m. Jason Parsley

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