(CNSNews.com) – The Satanic Temple, which gained international notoriety in May when it tried to hold a Black Mass reenactment at Harvard University, said one of the issues it feels strongly about is “gay rights” and explained that homosexual marriage is “a sacrament,” just like heterosexual marriage.
The Satanic Temple (TST) spokesman, Lucien Greaves, who reportedly is a graduate of Harvard University, explained why TST focuses on gay rights in a recent interview with the Detroit Metro Times and expanded on those views in an email to CNSNews.com.
When asked about its work on gay rights, Greaves told The Times, “We work on social issues, engaging the socio-political dialogue. One of the things we felt strongly about is gay rights. And there’s been a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot of progress to be made.”
In an email to CNSNews.com, Greaves further said, “Gay rights is an important equal rights issue with particularly religious overtones. There is no valid secular argument against legal recognition of gay marriage, but the issue is often wrongly painted as one of Religion versus Civil Liberties. Of course, not all religions universally oppose gay marriage and we are in a position to underscore that point.”
Greaves said that The Satanic Temple, based in New York, would like to perform a same-sex marriage in Michigan, where such unions have been banned pending a ruling by an appeals court.
Greaves said TST would like to “school” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on the Constitution and the First Amendment “by performing a gay marriage in Michigan. To us, marriage is a sacrament.”
“We recognize it, and we think the state would have to recognize the marriage on religious liberty grounds,” Greaves told The Times. “Anyone who wants to do that can reach out and have their marriage performed by Lucien Greaves. We look forward to taking on Michigan on the gay rights issue, and bringing them into the 21st century.”
As for gay marriage being a sacrament, Greaves said, “As a ‘sacrament,’ marriage performed by us is, to us, of unique importance and significance. We're not saying that gay marriage is more of a sacrament than heterosexual marriage, but no less a sacrament.”
The Satanic Temple spokesman also disclosed that he views himself as “a gay rights activist among many other things,” adding that “the question of one's own personal sexual orientation is -- or should be -- irrelevant to their positions on Civil Liberties.”
When CNSNews.com asked Greaves whether he was a graduate of Harvard University, he did not deny it but said, “This is the kind of information that only surfaces when a journalist has, or thinks she/he has prior knowledge. I do very little to contribute to personal profiles of myself.”
The Satanic Temple “is far bigger than just myself,” said Greaves. “I have put a FERPA block on my records and do my best to preserve my privacy, and the privacy of those I work with in TST.”
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that, among other things, prohibits the improper disclosure of a person’s education records.
In early May, The Satanic Temple was scheduled to perform a Black Mass reenactment at Harvard University, under the sponsorship of the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club. After numerous complaints, including from the archdiocese of Boston, a street protest and prayer vigil, the Black Mass reenactment was performed at a different location not on the Harvard campus.
Among other projects, The Satanic Temple is seeking to have a statue of Satan – depicted as “Baphomet” with a goat’s head and horns – erected on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol. Last July, members of The Satanic Temple went to the grave site of the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps to conduct a “Pink Mass” ceremony celebrating homosexual unions.
According to The Satanic Temple website, “The Pink Mass is a Satanic ritual performed at the grave site of a deceased person, which changes the sexual orientation of that person in the afterlife.”
Greaves said, “The Satanic Temple now believes that Fred Phelps must believe that his mother is now gay, in the afterlife, due to our Pink Mass. … And nobody can challenge our right to our beliefs.”