Anti-Gay Lawyer Who Tried to Marry His “Porn-Filled” Laptop Sues Lafayette Parish Library, Claiming Drag Queen Reading Endorses Religion

Update: Sevier mistakenly named Tony Roswarski, in his capacity as mayor of the good people of Lafayette, Indiana, instead of Mayor-President Joel Robideaux of Lafayette, Louisiana, in his lawsuit. 

Mark Christopher Sevier (a.k.a. Chris Sevier, a.k.a. Mark Sevier, a.k.a. Chris Severe), an attorney from Nashville who once claimed to be sexually attracted to his own computer- a “machinist” is how he described his sexual orientation- in an attempt to intervene in a series of same-sex marriage cases, filed suit against Teresa Elberson, the director of the Lafayette Parish Library, Gov. John Bel Edwards, and Attorney General Jeff Landry in an effort to prohibit the library from hosting a scheduled reading event featuring drag queens, according to a report from KADN, a Lafayette affiliate of Fox

The Advertiser also reported on Sevier’s lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of two religious organizations, Warriors for Christ and Special Forces of Liberty.  

But so far, the local media hasn’t picked up on exactly who they’re dealing with. 

The upcoming Drag Queen Story Time event has been the subject of intense controversy, almost entirely due to the bizarre decision by Mayor-President Joel Robideaux to issue an inflammatory statement on Facebook denouncing the library.  On Tuesday night, the Lafayette City-Parish Council hosted a marathon meeting to consider a non-binding resolution against the library. (Neither the council nor the mayor-president have any authority over the parish library). Ultimately, only three members signed onto the resolution; the other six abstained, and the resolution failed.   

Chris Sevier is a notorious legal troll who made national headlines five years ago after attempting to intervene in a same-sex marriage case in Florida, under the pretense of representing “other minority sexual orientation groups,” specifically people attracted to their computers. He has filed similar cases in Tennessee, Utah, and Texas. 

In his motion for intervention in Florida, Sevier declared to the court

Recently, I purchased an Apple computer. The computer was sold to me without filters to block out pornography. I was not provided with any warning by Apple that pornography was highly addictive and could alter my reward cycle by the manufacturer. Over time, I began preferring sex with my computer over sex with real women. Naturally, I ‘fell in love’ with my computer and preferred having sex with it over all other persons or things, as a result of classic conditioning upon orgasm.

A year prior, he had sued Apple for his porn addiction. Last year, he attempted to convince the government to mandate porn-filters on every electronic device connected to the internet.

Among other things, as The Daily Beast reported in an extensive 2017 profile, Sevier has also previously been charged with stalking a 17-year-old girl and country star Josh Rich and was convicted of assaulting his father-in-law in an incident that sent his 7-month-old son to the emergency room. After briefly relocating to Texas, he was sentenced to 58 days in jail for misdemeanor assault after attempting to abduct his son, who he is now prohibited from contacting. 

His license to practice law in Tennessee was suspended; the state’s bar association cited “mental illness.”

It is unclear whether Sevier can actually practice law in Louisiana, but this isn’t the first time he has made news in the state. In 2013, he sued President Obama, among others, after A&E canceled the television show “Duck Dynasty.” 

In his lawsuit against the Lafayette Parish Library, Sevier argues that the decision to host Drag Queen Story Time amounts to a state-sponsored endorsement of religion and violates the Supreme Court’s three-part Lemon Test, first articulated in the 1968 case Lemon v. Kurtzman

He is hoping that the court will believe that drag queens are all “secular humanists” and that secular humanism is a religion. The government cannot pass a law that advances or inhibits any particular religion or results in excessive government entanglement with religion.    

Sevier had been making the same argument in a same-sex marriage case in Texas. Ironically, the first prong of the Lemon Test is that “the statute must have a secular legislative purpose” (emphasis added).

No court has ever declared secular humanism to be a religion, though the religious right has occasionally argued that Footnote 11 in the 1961 case Torcaso v. Watkins, which concerned tax-exemptions for various groups, to be authoritative. 

Either way, there is no such thing as the Church of Drag Queens. 

Regardless, Sevier’s case in Lafayette- much like the other cases he has filed-   is meritless, but it does underscore one thing: In issuing his statement against the library reading event, Joel Robideaux effectively announced that Lafayette was open for bigots. It shouldn’t be surprising that they’ve shown up. 

Props to Jezebel for the featured image

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Lamar White, Jr.
Lamar White, Jr. is an award-winning writer and the publisher and founder of the Bayou Brief, Louisiana’s only statewide news and culture publication. Born and raised on the banks of the Red River in Alexandria, he is a proud product of the Louisiana public education system and a graduate of Rice University in Houston and SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Lamar has been writing about politics and public policy in Louisiana for twenty years, beginning as a weekly youth columnist for his hometown paper, the Town Talk. After earning his undergraduate degree in English and Religious Studies, Lamar moved back to Alexandria, where he launched a popular blogsite, CenLamar, and worked for five years as the Special Assistant to the Mayor. He exposed significant problems with Louisiana’s school voucher program, which resulted in a series of other investigations and ultimately in the removal of several schools from the program. He was the last person to argue online with Andrew Breitbart. He investigated and then broke the report that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise had once attended a white supremacist conference. He was the first to share a photograph of Bobby Jindal’s portrait in the state Capitol. He exposed U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s incomplete timesheets while the then-representative moonlighted as a physician. He earned headlines in Texas after the gubernatorial campaign of Greg Abbott falsely claimed he had been exploited as a “campaign prop” by Abbott’s opponent, Wendy Davis, and after exposing U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for relying on online “bot farms” to counter Beto O’Rourke, and he earned headlines in Mississippi after publishing videos of U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith making bizarre comments about public hangings and voter suppression tactics which were both perceived as racist. Lamar was the recipient of the 2011 Ashley Morris Award, given to the writer who best exemplifies the spirit of New Orleans, and in 2019, he was honored as one of Gambit’s Top 40 Under 40 and as the year’s Outstanding Millennial in Journalism at the annual Millennial Awards. He has been the subject of profiles in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Above the Law, and the Advocate and has appeared multiple times as a guest on CNN and MSNBC. Lamar currently lives in New Orleans with his two golden retrievers, Lucy Ana and Ruby Dog.