Liberty Counsel, the Orlando-based group who represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, is now defending Lake County against Chaz Stevens, the self-described ‘minion of Satan’ who is suing because the county refused to let him give a satanic invocation before a commission meeting.
Stevens, who also describes himself as an atheist and human rights activist, says on his website
that his project “Satan or Silence” tries to persuade elected officials to either drop the traditional prayer before meetings or let him give a satanic prayer. Stevens has contacted different municipalities around Florida to let him lead a satanic prayer, and since then, Deerfield Beach, Dania Beach, Coral Springs and Delray Beach are now holding moments of silence, the Orlando Sentinel
Stevens said his invocation would include non-traditional elements like nachos and cold Mexican cerveza.
Last week, Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner told the Sentinel
, “There won’t be any satanic prayers while I’m chairman. The man isn’t going to bully me. If he hates God, he can do that. But we’re not going to spread devil worshipping in our chamber.”
The Commission rejected Stevens' request because he doesn't live in the county, so Stevens filed an intent to sue.
Aside from representing the county, Liberty Counsel offered to pay for all legal fees.
Liberty Counsel's most well-known client, Kim Davis, made international news earlier this summer after she was jailed for defying a federal court order and refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The organization, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, got into some hot water with, of all people, Pope Francis after the group's founder and chairman Mat Staver said the Pope had met privately with Davis and encouraged her to "stay strong." The Vatican released a statement saying the encounter was brief and "should not be considered a form of support," according to The Daily Beast.
Later, reports surfaced that the Pope had actually met privately with someone—a longtime friend and his partner of 19 years.