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Twin Cities Pride Battles Antigay Activist

Twin Cities Pride Battles Antigay Activist


Minneapolis gay rights groups may head to court to keep an antigay protester out of the Twin Cities Pride Festival.

Representatives from Twin Cities Pride say a permit they received from the Minneapolis Park Board should allow them to forbid antigay activist Brian Johnson entrance to the celebration.

According to a Minneapolis news station, the parks board will not forbid Johnson from the event because they believe he has the right to enter public property, even if a group has a permit to use the property for an allotted time.

Johnson held booths at previous Minneapolis gay-pride festivals, but last year organizers asked him not to return.

Johnson was arrested at the 2009 Twin Cities Pride for trespassing when he refused to leave a sidewalk, where he was shouting antigay speech.

Pride officials cite a 1995 Supreme Court case, Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group, as the argument for their stance. In the case the Supreme Court ruled in favor of parade organizers who denied participation to a gay group. The Court said allowing the Irish-American gay group to march was a violation of First Amendment rights of the parade organizers, who did not support pro-gay messages.

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