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Judge rules Wisconsin man can't hand out Bibles inside MN gay pride fest


MINNEAPOLIS (WTAQ) - A federal judge says a Wisconsin man cannot hand out Bibles inside a gay pride festival this month at a public park in Minneapolis.

Brian Johnson of Hayward sought an injunction giving him unfettered access to the festival grounds.

But Chief Federal District Judge Michael Davis issued a 41-page ruling Monday explaining why Johnson’s constitutional challenge is not likely to succeed. Davis said Johnson would have to confine himself to a booth just outside the event.

His attorney from the Center for Religious Expression says his client is being relegated to a, “no pride zone” where nobody will go – and therefore, his free speech rights are being violated. But the judge said the booth is right next to a picnic and entertainment area close to one of the park’s main entrances.

Still, attorney Nate Kellum says he’s exploring other legal options to get Johnson inside.

Johnson said he’s been distributing Bibles at the Minneapolis Pride Festival since 1995 – and he had no trouble until 2009, when the group refused to rent him a booth over a disagreement on his views about homosexuality.