MINNEAPOLIS -- Twin Cities Pride plans to file a federal court injunction Tuesday against the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, unless the park board reverses its decision to allow an anti-gay activist onto Loring Park during this weekend's Pride Festival.
According to a news release sent out Monday, Twin Cities Pride has been leasing Loring Park from the park board for more than 30 years.
Lawyers for Twin Cities Pride say if the park board allows Brian Johnson of Hayward, Wisc. into the park while the two-day festival is going on, the park board would be violating a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That ruling says a private organization which holds a permit to use a public street for expressive purposes cannot be compelled by the government to include a group whose message is different from the organizer's.
"The Park Board's decision is akin to allowing the Klu Klux Klan to openly convey their racist and anti-immigration views at the Cinco de Mayo festival," said Eileen Scallen, co-counsel to the Pride Festival.
Last year, Johnson and his family were arrested for trespassing after they went into Loring Park and passed out Bibles.
Twin Cities Pride says Johnson is welcome to pass out his Bibles from a sidewalk across the street from the Pride Festival.
More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the festival on June 26 and 27.
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