Satanic Temple's invocation not an impossibility at Tucson council

Satanic Temple's invocation not an impossibility at Tucson council

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Satanic Temple in Tucson has asked the city for a time to give the invocation before a Tucson City Council meeting.

A similar request was met with stiff opposition by Phoenix City Council members, who voted 5-4 on Wednesday, Feb. 3 to end prayer rather than giving the temple an opportunity to read a two-minute invocation.

The reception in Tucson will likely be different, at least among the people Tucson News Now spoke with.

"The City Clerk's Office has a list of ministers, individuals who have expressed an interest in giving the invocation. The Clerk's Office typically rotates through the list. If someone desires to be added to or removed from the list they contact the clerk's office," City Clerk Roger Randolph said.

The invocation must be nonsectarian and ecumenical in nature.

"The city does not discriminate among religious view points," City Attorney Mike Rankin said. "If an individual wants to be added to the clerk's list of those wishing to give the invocation, they would be added."

Randolph said he has received word that the Satanic Temple requests the time, but is waiting for clearance from the city attorney before adding it to the list.

Stu De Hann, a Tucson attorney and Temple member says this is only the beginning.

He says the Temple is seeking a list of every municipality which offers an invocation prior to its meetings and the Temple will request that it be allowed to give an invocation at them all.

When asked if he expected to be rejected as he was in Phoenix De Hann said "we don't know what to expect, we didn't expect the amount of attention and we didn't expect them to do what they did."

What the Phoenix city council did was ban all prayer at its meetings which will be replaced with a moment of silence.

"They ended 50 years of tradition to prevent us from giving the invocation," said De Hann. "That was not our intent."

Du Hann says their only intent was to give the invocation but he does admit they chose Phoenix over Tucson "because it's the state capitol" and they felt it would get more attention there.

In Tucson, it would not have received as much attention and it probably would not have generated much controversy, if any at all.

City Councilwoman Regina Romero, Ward 1, indicated she does not have an issue with it.

"I believe in the constitution 100 percent," she said in a text.

Councilman Steve Kozachik also said he "would not have a problem with it."

Randolph said the Wiccans, as well as a diverse number of religious groups have given the invocation in the past, such at the tribal nations along with the Wiccans,

Kozachik said Tucson "welcomes diversity."

The following is text of the invocation, as provided by the Satanic Temple in Tucson:

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