FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – People protested Friday morning outside Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler's annual Prayer Breakfast because of a controversial guest who was included in this year's event.
"When there's injustice anywhere, there's injustice everywhere," one protester said.
A couple dozen protesters went to the Broward County Convention Center to voice their outrage about having Focus on the Family director Jim Daly at the event.
"We want to make sure that our elected leaders understand that we as a community don't welcome hate," one man said.
The LGBT community has roundly opposed having Daly as a keynote speaker at the event, because his group opposes gay marriage and gay adoption and is in favor of controversial conversion therapy.
"That to us amounts to torture," protester Michael Gagne said. "We elected (Seiler) to help us in the gay and lesbian community, and the eight years he's been in office, he's not done a thing to help the gay and lesbian community at all."
One of Seiler's own colleagues, Commissioner Dean Trantalis, who is gay, boycotted the breakfast.
"It is truly unfortunate that Mr. Daly was invited to be the keynote speaker when the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast should be a place for bringing all segments of Fort Lauderdale together in a spirit of peace and harmony," Trantalis said in a statement.
Seiler bristled last week when activist Michael Rajner referred to the breakfast, but said in a statement that the message at the breakfast would be one of inclusion, and that it would be rude and arrogant for him not to go to church-sponsored breakfast.
"It's the equivalent of taking the stage with David Duke," Rajner said. "It's sad that the mayor just won't admit to how harmful this is and how offensive it is to the gay community."
Rajner said the mayor needs to let the LGBT community "know where he stands."
Seiler pointed out last week that he didn't choose Daly to speak, and that the decision was made by a host committee.