School Superintendent Backs Down from Threat Against Church'
School Superintendent Backs Down from Threat Against Church's Lease
Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho has backed down from his threat to revoke the lease from Impact Miami Church and Pastor Jack Hakimian. The Superintendent threatened to review the lease following a sermon by Pastor Hakimian, in which he spoke about the intolerance of those who espouse the homosexual agenda. Liberty Counsel sent a letter on Pastor Hakimian’s behalf stating that any adverse action against the pastor for his speech would violate the First Amendment.
Originally, the Superintendent said that Pastor Hakimian’s preaching and doctrinal statements about the Biblical position on homosexuality somehow violated the district’s bullying and nondiscrimination policy.
Liberty Counsel told the Superintendent, “The District must respect the First Amendment rights of Pastor Hakimian and the Church. We will be prepared to take whatever legal action is necessary to protect these rights.”
In a memo to the school board, Superintendent Carvalho said there will be no action to terminate the church’s lease. “The school district acknowledges the constitutional right of all persons to express themselves freely. Our firm belief is that, under the law, constitutionally protected freedom of speech for all, including those who lease our facilities, must be observed even when it may be perceived as offensive to some.”
“In recent days we have seen stepped-up attacks against free speech,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is outrageous that a public school superintendent could think he has the right to threaten revocation of a lease because of what the pastor preaches in the pulpit. No public official is above the law. The First Amendment stands as a bulwark against homo-fascism,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
© 2012 Liberty Counsel
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