Twin Cities Gay Pride Fest Cannot Bar Evangelist

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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