Main | Friday, June 25, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS: Twin Cities Pride Loses Court Battle To Bar Anti-Gay Activists

Twin Cities Pride has lost their battle to bar anti-gay evangelists from their event in a Minneapolis park.
A federal judge has ruled that an anti-gay Wisconsin evangelist will be allowed to hand out bibles and anti-gay literature during Minneapolis' huge LGBT Pride Fest this weekend. Brian Johnson had been a fixture at Twin Cities Pride Fest for years, until last summer, when he was denied a permit for a booth. He showed up anyway and was arrested. This year, Pride Fest attorneys attempted to get an emergency restraining order against him. Since the Fest is held in a public park, attorneys for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board argued on Johnson's behalf, although they insisted they were merely trying to clarify the rules and were not advocating one viewpoint over another. A federal judge ruled Friday that a restraining order would violate Johnson's First Amendment rights. "The court's task here is to balance these competing interests to the greatest extent possible- -- to enable all speakers to exercise their constitutional rights," Judge John Tunheim said in his ruling. "And then to depend on reasonable and law-abiding people to stay within proper limits."
The Minneapolis Parks Department says that police will be standing by to make arrests if things get out of hand.

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