LGBTQ activists call for ouster of TPD chief

Rainbow flag flying high. Photo courtesy AgriLife Today

Local LGBTQ activists want Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell removed from office in the aftermath of a speech he gave at a Billy Graham Evangelistic Association gathering in late September.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has a long history of being anti-LGBTQ. This past June, the organization posted an article on its website stating that homosexuality is a sin.

According to a post on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, marriage should be limited to unions of men and women. When the Supreme Court decided Bostock v. Clayton County, the organization also supported a Supreme Court brief stating that gender identity and sexual orientation should not be protected classes.

When considering Bostock v. Clayton County, the group also sponsored a Supreme Court brief claiming that gender identity and sexual orientation should not be protected classifications.

Concluding his speech, Revell spoke on how the Tallahassee Police Department has a history of hiring and promoting LGBTQ people, according to Revell.

Sanjay Perkins, a junior criminal justice major at Florida A&M, says Revell’s speech was distasteful. His speech makes you wonder how he feels about the treatment of minorities, Perkins said.

“If he says this about the LGBTQ community, I really wonder about how he feels about minorities. How does he treat us? Feel about us? It shouldn’t matter what someone’s sexual orientation is to be treated equally. Religion shouldn’t be involved in law enforcement. Just treat people fairly. That shouldn’t even be up for debate,” Perkins said.

Jeremy White, a sophomore chemical and biomedical engineering major, says Chief Revell’s speech was outdated and insensitive.

“No sin is greater than the other. You say your beliefs are how you treat people. So me being a part of the LGBTQ, how would you treat me? Would you treat me off of my appearance? Let me guess, the heterosexuals get treated better because they like the opposite sex. A person with that type of mindset shouldn’t be the chief of anything. He needs to be removed immediately,” White said.

Chief Revell’s speech reminded us how much more work we need to do as a community and a nation, that we should respect each other regardless of our different lifestyles and economic statuses. Treat others as you want to be treated. Treat everyone equally. Do not judge an individual by their appearance but by their character.