After threatening multiple arrest warrants against the New York Satanic Temple that performed a “pink mass” ceremony at the gravesite of Fred Phelps’ mother, police in Lauderdale County, MS, have issued an arrest warrant for Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves, charging him with “desecration of a grave.” So much for the First Amendment.
The ceremony, which consisted of two gay couples kissing at the gravesite of Fred Phelps’ mother, has allegedly cast an irreversible spell that made the deceased “gay forever” and eternally pleasured by same-sex kisses. It also really, really pissed off Magnolia Cemetery owner Bill Arlinghaus.
In cahoots with the Meridian Police Department, Arlinghaus threatened “trespassing” charges against the group, even though the cemetery was open to the public when the Pink Mass took place. According to Meridian Police Captain Dean Harper, a judge refused to sign the suggested warrants, and instead issued a misdemeanor charge against Greaves exclusively.
“He broke the law,” Harper told HuffPo this week. Though the charge carries no jail time in lieu of a $500 fine, Harper says that Greaves will be arrested if he returns to Lauderdale County in order to “deter anyone else [from performing the ritual].”
Yesterday, Greaves emailed HuffPo again, accusing the Meridian PD of “[contorting the law in an effort to criminalize an act of expression that offends [them],” adding that the “law allows the same freedoms that are abused by the Westboro Baptists to be exercised by The Satanic Temple.”
There’s no telling whether Greaves will return to Lauderdale County in the near future, but he’s still pledging to continue pink mass ceremonies in response to future WBC pickets.