The pastor of a small Baptist church in Tennessee delivered a sermon earlier this month that likely would have made headlines under any circumstances. Grayson Fritts told his congregation that police should arrest gay people ("freaks" and "animals") so they can be tried and executed, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel. But what has elevated the controversy even more is that Fritts also happens to be a detective with the Knox County Sheriff's Office, though he's on his way out. Details and developments:
- The sermon: On Sunday, June 2, Fritts stood before his All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville and declared, "I'm sick of sodomy getting crammed down our throats," per the Washington Post. "God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to the LGBT freaks and arrest them and 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."
- See video: The Tennessee Holler has a video with excerpts from the sermon. Fritts says it's easy to spot gay people because they're "flamboyant." He also mocked Pride Parades, taking place during June, and called out Taylor Swift for advocating on behalf of LGBTQ rights. "It's infecting our culture," he complained.