Twin Cities Gay Pride Fest Cannot Bar Evangelist

The Twin Cities Pride Festival cannot prevent an evangelical Christian from passing out Bibles and discussing his views against homosexuality at this weekend’s event, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Twin Cities Pride argued that its rights should take precedence because it’s paying $36,000 to lease Loring Park on the edge of downtown Minneapolis for the two-day event. The group also said Johnson contradicts the festival’s “message of celebration and pride in being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

But the judge ruled that the 42-acre park is a public forum, so Brian Johnson’s free-speech rights must be honored. Tunheim said Johnson is entitled to go ahead with his plans as long as he remains undisruptive.

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This post was last updated: Jun. 26, 2010