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Cracker Barrel bars homophobic pastor who called for LGBT executions

Vic Parsons June 20, 2019

Grayson Fritts (Knox County Sheriff's Office)

A pastor and former police detective who said the government should execute gay people has been barred from holding a meeting with his church at Cracker Barrel in Tennessee.

Grayson Fritts had planned a June 29 meeting at the Cracker Barrel in Cleveland for his independent All Scripture Baptist Church.

But the restaurant chain has announced that they will not be allowed onsite.

“Cracker Barrel is not affiliated in any way with Mr Fritts or All Scripture Baptist and we disagree strongly with their statements of hate and divisiveness,” the restaurant said in a statement on Twitter.

“We have advised All Scripture Baptist that their event will not be allowed at Cracker Barrel. We serve everyone who walks through our doors with genuine hospitality, not hate, and require all guests to do the same,” it said.

On Tuesday (June 18), the chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, Mary Mancini, wrote a letter to Cracker Barrel’s CEO about the church’s plans to hold a meeting at the restaurant.

“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,” Mancini said.

“Mr. Fritts also called on the United States government to carry out death sentences against the community.”

She said, “Hosting this type of event is in direct conflict with the culture you are working so hard to build as well as the inclusivity and diversity pledge stated on your website.”

Fritts made the comments in a June 2 sermon, which was posted on YouTube but has since been deleted.

At that time, Fritts was a Knox County Sheriff’s detective, although he has since resigned.

The Knox County Attorney General’s Office is looking into the hour-long sermon, during which Fritts told his congregation that he believed the federal, state and county governments should arrest, convict and execute people in the LGBT+ community, the Tennessean reported.

Tennessee prosecutors said on June 14 that they would review Fritts’s cases for any potential bias.

He had been a Sheriff’s detective for 19 years.

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