This week’s North Miami city council meeting literally went to the chickens when gay city commissioner Scott Galvin went “bock, bock, bock” to illustrate the cowardice of the mayor for not allowing a public discussion on the city’s decision to hold a day of prayer event hosted by an anti-gay gay pastor.
“Mr. Mayor, you’re a coward,” Galvin said at one point during the meeting. “A coward, Mr. Mayor, because you refuse to let minority groups speak.”
Two weeks ago, North Miami Commissioner Michael Blynn voted in favor of the event, but now it seems he’s changed his mind about the city’s financial backing of a May 2 Day of Prayer event to be run by anti-gay pastor Jack Hakimian.
“I won’t vote for it if it’s not multi-religious,” Blynn said during the April 23 city meeting.
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. The decision was highly publicized.
The second vote resulted 3-2 in favor, and so North Miami will still be backing the anti-gay pastor.
Blynn was the one who originally brought the issue to the city.
During the raucous meeting (the first one since the decision to back Hakimian), Mayor Andre Pierre was trying to keep the peace with two commissioners, Blynn and Galvin (who led the opposition, alongside Equality Florida, against the decision to help Hakimian), snickering and challenging the very discussion itself.
Arguing over the order of who should speak first, the public (Galvin’s desire) or the commissioners (Pierre’s desire), this exchange stood out:
“We’ve always had a public discussion first, it’s our tradition,” Blynn said.
“I’m surprised you’re afraid to hear the public speak. Are you afraid to hear the public speak?” Galvin asked Pierre.
“Afraid to hear the public speak? Maybe you’re afraid to hear the public speak,” Pierre responded.
“No. Are you afraid to hear the public speak? Yes or no?” Galvin repeated.
The jabs continued. Check out a video of the meeting here: the crazyness starts at 32 minutes. Galvin calls the mayor and commissioners “chickens.” When the mayor announces that no public discussion will be held about the topic, the audience stands up and leaves.
Michael Rajner, a local activist opposed to the city funding who attended, said that he was shocked when the mayor told everyone he was the one controlling the meeting.
“The mayor had no control,” Rajner told SFGN. “He didn’t allow there to be a balanced argument over the matter.”
As of press time, SFGN was unable to reach the mayor for comment.
The Christian Family Coalition (CFC), one of whose representatives appeared the meeting, saw the disturbance as a “victory.”
“Today, the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), Florida's premiere human rights and social justice organization announced a huge victory for the National Day of Prayer (NDOP) in the city of North of Miami!” A release from the CFC read:
On Tuesday, April 9th, the North Miami City Council overwhelmingly approved (4-1 vote), a resolution allowing Pastor Jack Hakimian and Mission Miami, to host a National Day of Prayer (NDOP) event in the city, the first time ever! However, immediately after the resolution was adopted, Councilman Scott Galvin, an militant extremist, started a vicious campaign to overturn the resolution. According to Galvin, he was "offended" by Pastor Hakimian's message of hope and healing for homosexuals.
As soon as the CFC was notified, we sprang into action providing tactical and strategic advice to Mission Miami. First, we generated hundreds of emails to the North Miami City Council thanking them for their support of the National Day of Prayer, (NDOP), this was followed by a press conference at North Miami City Hall with pastors from the city. We then secured a major endorsement from the Honorable State Representative Daphne Campbell, the Democratic State Representative for North Miami in Tallahassee.
Finally, after North Miami Councilman Michael Blynn tried to remove the NDOP from the city, CFC organized a Rally for Your Rights to fight for prayer! On Tuesday, April 23rd, we filled North Miami city hall with over fifty (50) Christians in defense of prayer, while only 5 homosexual extremists showed up! Christians outnumbered the extremists by a 5-1 margin and we won!
The North Miami City Council refused to REMOVE the National Day of Prayer from the city. We want to thank State Rep. Daphne Campbell as well as Mayor Andre Pierre, Councilman Marcelus and Councilwoman Steril for their unwavering support!
Christian Family Coalition issued the following statement:
"Today, was a smashing victory not only for the National Day of Prayer in North Miami, but a demonstration for Christians everywhere that we will NOT be intimidated by militant extremists who try to censor our message of hope and healing for homosexuals everywhere"