Filed under: Creative Activism
Lucien Greaves, Officiant Of Satanic Temple’s Anti-Westboro ‘Pink Mass,’ Charged With Desecration Of Grave
by Andres Jauregui
July 24, 2013
The officiant of a ritual in which gay couples kissed at the gravestone of the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Jr., has been charged with desecration of a grave in Lauderdale County, Miss.
In a phone interview with The Huffington Post July 24, Meridian Police Capt. Dean Harper confirmed that the spokesman for New York’s Satanic Temple, who goes by the name Lucien Greaves, faces a misdemeanor charge stemming from the July 14 incident.
Earlier, area news outlet WTOK reported that charges of “trespassing, indecent exposure and malicious mischief” had been sought against multiple individuals, but Harper told HuffPost that the judge refused to sign a warrant on them.
Harper told HuffPost that Greaves would be arrested if he returned to Lauderdale County. The charge carries no jail time, and Harper estimated that the associated fine would be “less than $500.” But he said that’s beside the point.
“He broke the law,” Harper told HuffPost. “A secondary effect would be to deter anyone else [from performing the ritual].”
Greaves presided over two so-called “pink masses” at the grave of Catherine Johnston, and was photographed putting his penis on the headstone (NSFW). The group claimed that the ritual had made Johnston’s soul gay in the afterlife, and encouraged others to perform the ritual, as well.
Cemetery owner Bill Arlinghaus pressed charges after reports of the incident attracted widespread media attention. The Satanic Temple argued that the ritual was intended to counter hate with acts of love.
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