State Watch

Authorities ‘looking into’ pastor’s church sermon calling for execution of LGBTQ people

A controversial sermon by a Tennessee church pastor, who is also a detective in the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, calling for the execution of LGBTQ people has prompted authorities to further investigate.

All Scripture Baptist Church pastor Grayson Fritts, who earlier this month was taken off active duty with the sheriff’s department as he waits for a county buyout offer, said in an hourlong sermon that members of the LGBTQ community should be “put to death,” referring to them as “freaks” and “animals,” according to CBS 8 WVLT.

{mosads}”Here’s how it should work. It shouldn’t work when we go out and we enforce the laws, because the Bible says the powers that be are ordained of God and God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT freaks and arrest them,” Fritts said in his June 2 sermon.

“Have a trial for them, and if they are convicted then they are to be put to death … do you understand that? It’s a capital crime to be carried out by our government.”

Fritts also made specific reference to LGBTQ Pride parades, saying, “All the Pride parades, man, hey, call the riot teams, we got a bunch of ’em, get the paddy wagon out here, we got a bunch of ’em going to jail. We got a bunch of them we’re gonna get convicted because they’ve got their Pride junk on and they’re professing what they are, they’re a filthy animal.”

The Hill has reached out to the All Scripture Baptist Church for Comment.

The full sermon was posted by the church to YouTube and Facebook.

The sermon sparked an investigation by the Knox County District Attorney’s Office, which put out a statement saying it is further looking into the incident and will take action accordingly.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office also put out a statement after reports surfaced that Fritts worked in the office. The statement said he is on paid leave until his buy-out request is processed.

“I want to be very clear that it is my responsibility to ensure equal protection to ALL citizens of Knox County, Tennessee under the law, my oath and the United States Constitution without discrimination or hesitation. Rest assured that I have and will continue to do so,” Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said in the statement.

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