SALEM, Mass., Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Satanic Temple (TST) has sued the Lamar Billboard Company over allegations of religious discrimination and breach of contract after Lamar refused to post TST's designs that announce its religious abortion ritual. Sincere performance of this ritual exempts members from complying with many state regulations, such as mandatory waiting periods and compulsory counseling, that are not medically necessary and violate TST's religious beliefs.
TST contracted with Lamar to display a total of eight billboards in Indiana and Arkansas that promote TST's religious ritual. TST intended to place these billboards near fake abortion clinics, also known as crisis pregnancy centers, which purport to offer pregnancy-related services but instead attempt to deter patrons from terminating their pregnancy, often using tactics that involve deception and intimidation. Indiana and Arkansas are home to many fake abortion clinics.
TST informed Lamar that the billboard designs would be pro-reproductive rights and would align with TST's religious beliefs, and was assured by Lamar that this would not be a problem. However, after TST submitted their billboard artwork, Lamar rejected all four designs. Lamar's contract states that they may reject or remove any billboard that is not "in good taste and in line with the moral standards of the individual communities in which it is to be displayed."
When TST asked what explicit elements of the designs Lamar considered troublesome, TST was told that "all of the content" was "misleading and offensive." TST expressed willingness to update its designs. However, Lamar refused to specify any component that they believe is problematic, so it was not possible for TST to offer revisions.
TST claims that Lamar's actions violate the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority's (ACRA's) nationally-applicable laws that prohibit religious discrimination. As TST's designs contain Satanic imagery and Lamar objected to "all of the content," TST contends that Lamar has engaged in religious discrimination. Additionally, TST claims Lamar acted in bad faith and has deprived TST of the ability to advertise its religious abortion ritual as it holds a monopoly over much of the US billboard market.
TST cofounder and spokesperson Lucien Greaves says, "While it is understandable to be concerned with forcing a private entity to engage in speech or conduct it objects to, this scenario is different. Lamar initially agreed to work with us and their rejection appears to be religiously based. In addition, they have a virtual monopoly in certain regions. In this way, Lamar is able to regulate public-speech and they are not permitted to selectively exclude religious voices they object to."
About The Satanic Temple
The Satanic Temple, subject of the critically-acclaimed documentary, Hail Satan?, and the academic analysis, Speak of the Devil, confronts religious discrimination to secure the separation of church and state and defend the Constitutional rights of its members. In response to Oklahoma and Arkansas placing a Ten Commandments statue on Capitol grounds, TST offered its bronze Baphomet statue to stand alongside the Christian monuments. TST hosts the "After School Satan" club to counter the Evangelical "Good News Clubs" in public schools across the country to promote a plurality of religious viewpoints. The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits for the individual will. For more information about The Satanic Temple, visit https://thesatanictemple.com/.
Media Contact: Priya Dua, [email protected], 720-220-5339.
SOURCE The Satanic Temple