Satanic Temple asks Boston to fly flag after court ruling

BOSTON (AP) — The Satanic Temple has asked to fly a flag over Boston City Hall after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that the city violated the free speech rights of a conservative activist seeking to fly a Christian flag in front of to the downtown building.

The Salem-based group tweeted a copy of its request to raise a flag to mark Satanic Appreciation Week July 23-29 on Tuesday.

The application filed online with the city’s property management department does not provide any details about what the flag might look like or what the week-long celebration entails.

Spokespeople for the Satanic Temple did not respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday. The group has filed religious freedom challenges across the country, including a recent federal lawsuit arguing that the Boston City Council’s traditional opening prayer at its public meetings is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Mayor Michelle Wu’s office declined to comment on the group’s request, other than to say that it is reviewing the high court’s decision at the same time it evaluates its flag-raising program.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that Boston discriminated against activist Harold Shurtleff because of his “religious point of view,” even though he had routinely approved other flag-raising requests.

In 2017, Shurtleff and his Constitution Camp wanted to fly a white banner with a red cross on a blue background called the Christian flag to commemorate Constitution Day on September 17.

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