Satanic Temple of Arizona sues city of Scottsdale over denial for saying invocation prayer

- A group of satanists have filed suit against the city of Scottsdale. They say this all stems from the city denying them a chance to give the invocation in 2016.

The Satanic Tempe of Arizona is based out of Tucson, but says they have members in Scottsdale.

This also isn't the first time an Arizona city has dealt with the group.

Before Scottsdale, it was Phoenix denying the request for the Satanists to deliver the City Council Invocation. Phoenix decided to replace the 65-year tradition of prayer with a moment of silence.

The city later reinstated it, but now only allow police and fire chaplains to deliver the prayer.

"It's a non-theistic religion that embodies enlightenment era values and to that end, we separate religion from superstition and we allow for revision our way of thinking based on the best scientific evidence rather than a blind fealty to dogma," said Lucian Greaves, the co-founder of the Satanic Temple.

"Various faith groups from the state of Arizona can do an opening prayer or invocation before they get started with city council meetings. We requested to do that, we were given a slot, and then afterwards we were told that we weren't allowed to speak. So this is clearly religious discrimination, and for that reason we're going to sue them," said Stu De Haan. 

Stu De Haan, the group's attorney says the suit was filed on Friday.

"They're pretext was we don't have substantial ties to the city of Scottsdale which first of all, we don't believe to be true at all. We have members in Scottsdale, we've actually done a lot of public service in Arizona," De Haan said.

When asked to give a preview of what the group wanted to say, Fox 10 Phoenix was told the woman who was going to do the invocation was unavailable.

But De Haan does say they were going to follow the city's rules in keeping the prayer under three minutes.

"Our only intent is to not be discriminated against. So if they allow us to speak or if they change the program so that it is inclusive as constitutional required, that's what we're asking for," De Haan said.

Fox 10 Phoenix reached out to the city for a statement, but because it's the weekend, we haven't heard back yet.

The attorney says the suit was filed, but has not yet been sent to city council.

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