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Satanic group could give invocation in Tucson

Posted at 5:23 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 07:51:10-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- The Satanic Temple has been added to a list of groups to give the invocation at Tucson City Council meetings.

The group had requested to read the invocation at a Phoenix City Council meeting, but council members voted Wednesday night to replace the prayers with a moment of silence.

According to Lane Mandle, a spokesperson for the city manager's office, Stu de Haan a representative of the group requested to be added to the list. She says the city does not discriminate based on religious views.

Council member Steve Kozachik says he does not have a problem with Satanic group reading the invocation, and in the past the city has welcomed diverse leaders including Christian groups and Wiccans.

"I think the Phoenix City Council made themselves look pretty stupid by making a big deal out of this," Kozachik said. "The guy was after attention and he got it because of what they did. My sense is respect the First Amendment, respect the process and that is if one group comes in than everybody comes in. Let's not make a big deal of it."

Mandle says there is a list of about 60 ministers and individuals who have expressed interest in reading a prayer, and the city rotates based on who is available. There is no set date as to when the Satanic Temple will speak.

The invocation is typically read at the beginning of the meetings. It often takes less than a minute, and is followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.