When David Mullins and Charlie Craig went to order a cake for their wedding in 2012, they were refused service by bigot Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. Phillips cited his religious beliefs could not allow him to make a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage, prompting the couple to file a complaint which snowballed into a case now taken up by the Supreme Court this Fall.
The Satanic Temple (TST) is stepping in to help with a legal back-up strategy since the conservative-heavy justices could easily rule in Phillips’ favor. This means bakers and beyond in the U.S. would have the right to discriminate against same-sex couples.
Lucien Greaves, the founder and spokesperson for the Satanic Temple based in Salem, MA, issued this statement:
“Our organization has received a lot of concerned messages from people who are upset by the prospect of an environment in which the LGBTQ community are openly and legally treated as second class citizens. The laws of the United States require that no one may discriminate by way of refusal of service against an evangelical theocrat for their religious beliefs, but the evangelical theocrat may discriminate against LGBTQ people because of who they are. Because religion is a protected class, a baker may refuse service to LGBTQ people, but they may not refuse service based upon someone’s religion. If they aren’t willing to make a cake for same-sex unions, let’s have them make a cake to honor Satan instead.”
The Satanic Temple has nobly taken up many other constitutional causes. Their campaign After School Satan is in response to the 2001 Supreme Court ruling Good News Club v. Milford Central School that stated, “schools may not discriminate against religious speech and thereby affirmed the rights of religious organizations to operate clubs on public school premises after school hours.” This allowed evangelical organizations—who want SO BADLY to have Christian-only prayer inserted somehow into or onto public school—to hold Bible classes after school under deceptive names like the Good News Club, which sounds like a nice place for your kids to wait till you get off work but it’s really a captive Christian program. To counter this, the Satanic Temple established the After School Satan Club (ASSC), which is implemented in districts where Good News Clubs are set up. From TST’s web site: “The ASSC cannot be legally denied where other religious clubs have a presence.”
TST has challenged a few Bible Belt state governments where officials violate the U.S. Constitution’s first amendment by not upholding the separation of church and state by allowing symbols of religion, overwhelmingly Christian, to be on display on public property. When a Ten Commandments statue (donated by Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze) was mounted outside the Oklahoma State Capitol, TST offered to donate a statue of Baphomet for display, creating a constitutional dilemma for Oklahoma since church-going government officials were loath to accept a Satanic religious monument. The Oklahoma State Supreme Court ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments, and TST withdrew their request to display Baphomet.
Whatever the outcome of Mullins and Craig’s case, TST has pledged to throw same-sex couples a party in Salem, honoring them by ordering a cake that praises Satan “from your offending discriminatory ‘religious liberty’ enthusiast.” And if individuals feel “alienated or oppressed by the privileged status that religion holds over sexual orientation,” the Temple encourages folks to follow suit and order a Satan cake from their local baker. Devilishly delicious.