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Anti-Gay Pastor Banned From Cracker Barrel After Calling For LGBTQ Executions

A Tennessee Cracker Barrel restaurant has refused to allow a local pastor to hold a meeting at its location after he gave a sermon preaching that all LGBTQ people should be executed by the government, Knox News reported.

Grayson Fritts, who is also a sheriff's office detective in Knoxville, was captured on video screaming for gay people to be tried and put to death for their "crimes."

He is known in his community for his anti-gay sermons, which he preaches at All Scripture Baptist Church.

All Scripture Baptist Church

On the church's website, it explains that attendees shouldn't "expect anything liberal, watered down, or contemporary here. We are a family integrated church, meaning all children of ages are welcome in our services."

The church also makes their views on homosexuality quite clear on their website.

Unsplash | Jenna Jacobs

"We believe that sodomy (homosexuality) is a sin that is against nature," the church states on their homepage. "A person will only burn in their lust toward the same gender if they have been given over to a reprobate or rejected mind."

They add, "No homosexual will be allowed to attend or join All Scripture Baptist Church."

In a video of his latest sermon, Fritts is seen pounding his fists and screaming about LGBTQ people.

Twitter | @Kanew

The nearly 6 minute-long video sees the pastor preach to his congregation that police should round up people who attend Pride parades and ensure they are put through a "quick trial."

He begins the video by saying, "I'm sick of sodomy getting crammed down our throats."

He cites Taylor Swift's call for the state to pass a discrimination law and says it's "infecting our nation."

He insists that the government should be enforcing civil laws from the Bible which he says declares homosexuality a sin, leaving it punishable through the death penalty by the government.

He then goes on to preach that the Bible says gay being are "worth of death."

Twitter | @Kanew

It is at this point in the video that Fritts lets his congregation know how he believes the laws should be enforced upon people of the LGBTQ community.

He calls for these people to be arrested and be put to trial, "and if they are convicted, then they are to be put to death."

Watch the full video of his sermon below.

This punishment for "capitol crime" should be carried out by the government, he says.

As for Pride parades, Fritts believes these events should warrant riot teams to be called. Then they could gather up people who have "got their pride junk on and they're professing what they are, that they're a filthy animal."

Since the release of the shocking sermon, Fritts has apparently been planning a public meeting.

Instagram | @youkraveit

Specifically, he was looking to hold his gathering at a local Cracker Barrel restaurant.

When the Tennessee Democratic Party learned of the planned event, and where Fritts was looking to hold it, chairwoman Mary Mancini sent a public letter to Cracker Barrel CEO Sandy Cochran, imploring them to reconsider.

In the letter, Mancini warns the company of Fritts' planned "Small Town Soul Winning" event.

"Grayson Fritts, a pastor for the church, is currently under investigation for inciting violence against the LGBTQ+ community during one of his All Scripture Baptist Church sermons," she wrote. "Among other statements anathema to the standards and values of this great country, Pastor Fritts said members of the LGBTQ+ community are 'freaks' and 'animals' and are 'worthy of death.'"

Cracker Barrel issued an official statement on Twitter in response to the letter.

In their statement, the company denies having any affiliation with Fritts or his church and insist that they "disagree strongly with their statements of hate and divisiveness."

The company also said the event that was planned for June 29 will not be hosted by their restaurant and neither Fritts nor any of his affiliates are allowed at the location.

Video of Fritts' sermon was first posted to the church's website but was then later deleted.

The video caused Fritts to make headlines for his anti-gay hate speech. It also led to the Knox Country Sheriff's Office, at which Fritts was a detective for 30 years, to review all his pending cases, as well as any complaints against his completed cases.

As of right now, Fritts has been placed on paid sick leave from the sheriff's office.

YouTube | Grayson Fritts

According to CNN, the pastor's suspension is expected to end on July 19, where he will then leave the department under a voluntary workforce-reduction buyout program.

The LGBTQ community is rightfully alarmed by Fritts' call for executions, and advocates have spoken out against him.

Unsplash | Peter Hershey

Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that it is "particularly reprehensible when people use religion and their position in law enforcement to attack out community."

As part of his fiery speech, Fritts joked that Christians shouldn’t actually execute members of the LGBTQ community and their allies “unless [you’re] a policeman.”

Sterling Field, Tennessee Equality Project chairman, echoed these sentiments in his own interview.

Unsplash | Spenser

"We've have police brutality in the past," he said. "Pride started with the Stonewall uprising 50 years ago as a group of folks trying to assert that th ey deserve to be alive and deserve to have dignity and respect."

During a sermon this week, Fritts defended himself to reporters.

Facebook | All Scripture Baptist

The sermon, which was livestreamed to the church's Facebook, sees Fritts say that his personal beliefs never affected how he conducted himself as a detective.

“If I worked at the Burger King and somebody from the LGBT community came in and they ordered a hamburger, I would make them a hamburger because that was what my job would be,” he said. “Even if I felt differently towards that person and felt exactly what I feel and believe, I would still do my job.”

h/t: Know News