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Satanic Temple sues Belle Plaine over proposed monument

BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (AP) — The Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple is suing a Minnesota city for withdrawing permission for a satanic monument two years ago.

Satanic Temple co-founder Malcolm Jarry told the Star Tribune Saturday that people have a right to protest the proposed monument but not at the expense of the group’s civil rights.

The predicament the city of Belle Plaine finds itself in began in 2017 when officials decided to allow a steel silhouette of a soldier praying over a grave marked with a cross at a veterans’ memorial park. The Satanic Temple wanted its own monument in the park in an area the city designated as a “public forum” after complaints that the soldiers’ monument violated the separation of church and state. Officials shut down the public forum area altogether when complaints followed over the proposed Satanic monument.

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