ONE of the senior figures in The Satanic Temple says it has a thriving LGBTI community.

Ash Blackwood said the Satanist movement has become a hub for queer people, according to Pink News.

Blackwood attributed the movement’s popularity to its “enthusiastically accepting atmosphere for [LGBTI] people”, in contrast to some other organised religions.

Temple founder Lucien Greaves said he wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of members were LGBTI.

“It’s not a big deal,” said Greaves. “We don’t have strict separations of our gay membership, our trans membership, or anybody else.”

The Satanic Temple is in essence an atheist group, merely named provocatively, which does “not promote a belief in a personal Satan”.

“To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions,” said the group.

“The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.”

The Satanic Temple is politically active, and has in the past publicly opposed the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, pushed to abolish corporal punishment in schools, and advocated against laws limiting reproductive autonomy.

Evangelical Christians have reacted predictably to news of LGBTI Satanists, with one pastor recently claiming that Satan is behind gay weddings.

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