NORTH MIAMI – Pastor Jack Hakimian of Impact Miami Church claims that openly-gay former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns and other local gay business and civic leaders are using “Mafiastyle coercion” to undermine his congregation’s relationship with the community.
As previously reported in the Florida Agenda ( June 27, 2012: “Why, BIG BIRD—Why? Public TV Station Teams with Anti-Gay North Miami Pastor to Halt Strip Club”), Hakimian has had a volatile history with officials both gay and straight, including a near-miss this summer when Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho threatened to sever Impact Miami’s lease with North Miami Senior High School, because of the pastor’s outspoken remarks about LGBT issues.
Last month, Hakimian claimed that Burns helped squash a deal between Impact Miami and the owners of local Moca Café, where the pastor had planned a monthly event. Hakimian alleges that Burns and the owner of the café building applied pressure to kill the plans. In an email, “Former Homosexual Mayor Attacks North Miami Church,” Hakimian slammed Burns and others, including North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin.
“Can these homosexual leaders be trusted, or will they continue to bully if unchecked?” wrote Hakimian.
He also railed against “rich Anglo- Homosexuals using their ‘old power’ structures to intimidate conservative immigrant Haitians, minorities and immigrants.”
“Pastor Jack needs to grow thicker skin,” Galvin told the Agenda this week. “Even though I was aware he was preaching in the restaurant, I didn’t point it out to anyone, let alone his landlord.”
As to the existence of a ‘pink conspiracy’ against Hakimian and his flock, Galvin insists, “There is no ‘gay mafia’ trying to ruin him. If he thought I was part of such a silly conspiracy, he could have called and asked. I thought we had opened lines of communication at our Inclusion Town Hall (See Agenda, August 15, 2012: “Controversial Miami-Dade Pastor: ‘Love Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Disagree,’ Inclusion Forum Was Scene of Emotion, Conciliation).
“Instead, he took to the airwaves with gossip and attacks,” Galvin added. “That’s a shame.”