Last month, a sharply divided city council voted 5-4 to adopt a moment of silence instead of prayer at the opening of council meetings. The council debated it's prayer and invocation policies after a Satanic temple member from Tucson was scheduled to give an invocation at an upcoming meeting.
Diciccio was among four council members who voted against the moment of silence policy last month. From Diciccio's perspective, the moment of silence was the Satanic Temple's goal all along – they wanted all prayer to be silenced.
But when the council voted on the reversal yesterday, they voted on the beginnings of a city ordinance that would instate the chaplains as the official prayer policy of the city council.
"Normally prayer is a policy, a very casual thing," Diciccio said. "Our motion put it into law. What we passed – we created an ordinance. I don't think anywhere in the country this is part of the books. It makes it really hard for someone to change it again, because it will actually be part of the city of Phoenix as an ordinance."
Before the vote yesterday, the council heard testimonies from several people from the community, including a strong showing of Hispanic pastors and Brett Harvey, who argued in the Town of Greece v. Galloway Supreme Court case to uphold the right of public bodies to allow prayer under certain parameters.
Last month, the city council heard emotional testimonies for hours on the issue. Members of the Satanic Temple in Tucson were not present for and did not provide testimony at either meeting.