A non-binary witch performed a queer “marriage-a-thon” in Texas to protest Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Raynie Castaneda, known at The Fickle Witch, specialises in “divination readings of every kind, most especially tarot, pendulum, and rune” and is also a “witchy influencer and a Pagan public speaker of sheer force”.
On Sunday (16 November), Castaneda decided to stage a protest in Tyler, Texas, “in direct response” to the confirmation of Barrett, whose appointment has sparked fears for the future of marriage equality, and who they call “Angry Conehead Baguette”.
They wrote on Instagram: “I’m The Fickle Witch, and I am LEGALLY able to perform marriages. This is FREE.
“Come with your partner, bring your marriage license, I will marry you and sign it. We’ll hug, maybe dance a little.”
They added that there would be cake and cupcakes at the queer “marriage-a-thon”, donated by a local company.
Castaneda told CBS19: “I really just want to fill Tyler with joy and a mutual understanding of love and how we’re all human — there’s no wrong love.”
In total, 30 people attended the ceremony and five queer couples were married. They said: “This is a peaceful, loving demonstration in response to [Barrett’s confirmation].
“It’s saying that you cannot outlaw love. You cannot repeal, revoke love. You can say all day long that you’re going to, but at the end of the day, LGBTQ people will still exist, and they’re still going to love, whether you approve of it or don’t.”
Jenna Rose, a trans woman who married her fiancée at the mass wedding, added: “We’re not sure whether we can wait another year because, by that time, we may not be able to get married.
“If something happens to one of us, we can’t make decisions over their life … what’s gonna happen with our child if we can’t get married?”
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After the ceremony, Castaneda wrote on social media: “It was a beautiful day for love.
“Thank you to every single person who came out and celebrated with us. Thank you to everyone who came and helped with balloons, streamers, signs, and their amazing presence… Thank you to every amazing couple that trusted me with marrying them.”
They added that that the group were faced with some homophobia during the weddings.
“We did have a group of people consistently riding through on bikes, circling the square with prayer, etc,” they said.
“And to those people I seriously ask, it’s been HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of years. You have never been able to ‘pray away the gay’. LOVE is so much easier.”
Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in at the end of October, giving the court a strong 6-3 conservative majority.
Many have voiced fears this swing potentially puts decades of LGBT+ rights at risk, including same-sex marriage.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have already said that Obergefell v Hodges, the ruling that made marriage equality the law of the land, needs to be “fixed”.