Man can’t hand out Bibles at Minn. gay-pride festival
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has ruled that a Wisconsin man who wants to hand out Bibles at the 40th Annual Twin Cities Pride festival this month will have to confine himself to a booth just outside of the event.
On June 13, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis denied Brian Johnson’s request for an injunction that would force the Minneapolis parks board to allow him unrestricted access to festival grounds at Loring Park. The judge said Johnson’s constitutional challenge was unlikely to succeed.
Twin Cities Pride Executive Director Dot Belstler told the Star Tribune that the ruling was welcome news.
Johnson’s lead attorney, Nate Kellum with the Center for Religious Expression, said other legal options were being explored.
Johnson, of Hayward, Wis., said he had distributed Bibles at the annual event since 1995 and that he had no problems until 2009, when the organization refused to rent him a booth.
According to the newspaper, festival organizers will allow booths in the park, but outside the festival space, for people excluded by the planners.