Does Letting Anti-Gay Bible Thumpers Invade Twin Cities Pride Violate the Supreme Court’s Ruling?

“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,” says Minnesota Pride Festival attorney Eileen Scallen, denouncing the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s decision to permit Brian and Lois Johnson’s distribution of Bibles and waving of signs at this weekend’s event. Pride organizers are the ones who paid the tens of thousands of dollars in permit fees, and thus they should be able to control the message; the parks board says it’s just defending the Johnsons’ rights to free speech. Not surprisingly, the Johnsons have enlisted the help of the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund, which describes the event as a “festival devoted to the toleration of homosexual conduct.”

If the parks board doesn’t let the Johnsons in, ADF says it’ll sue. Which is fine. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, already decided the matter: Events organizers using public space can discriminate against participants. The two scenarios between the cases would be so similar, a judge should throw out the lawsuit at first glance. In the meantime, a judge should grant organizers their request to block the Johnsons’ rhetoric.

[image via]

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #alliancedefensefund #bibles #brianjohnson stories and more



    Once again we assist the scumbag strhaters in achieving exactaly what they what they desired: publicity………

    Instead of simply ignoring them prior to the event and then mocking the shit out of them during the event by outrageous displays of way out there behaviour in front of their little hate table and making them very uncomfortable (or more likely very horny) they get an additional platform and publicity for their hate campaign…..

  • Dawson

    The Hurley decision clearly has already address this issue. For those who do not remember this was the issue of not allowing gay organization to march in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. If a group is conveying a message that the organizing group does not want displayed they do not have to include said group in their parade. The Supreme Court voted 9-0 to uphold the right to exclude groups that express opinions that the organizing group doesn’t agree with even if the parade is on city streets and is using city funds.

    Would we want to have anti-gay groups in our parade? This just shows again how some groups are trying to use our event for their political agenda.

  • GayLawBlog

    For anyone that’s interested, the Hurley case isn’t entirely on point. And I think there is some merit to having a conversation on whether speech like this should (not must) be tolerated. What if it was PFLAG trying to get into an event for “ex-gays” to try and disseminate a message of tolerance?

    I blogged about the Twin Cities Pride issue a bit here:

  • Wade MacMorrighan

    Hey, please let us know the outcome of this, and whether or not these Christofascists were barred from taking part and causing a stir!

  • Jaroslaw

    Right on #1 Plays well – we gave them free publicity. The organizers should have let them participate and then given them a table behind two huge dumpsters or under a tree where the birds poop or whatever. This just gives them free publicity.

    And #1 – how do you italicize your phrases?

    Open to anyone – since Classic Queerty doesn’t seem to be available anymore, how does one navigate to previous days/weeks/months from the default page? I’ve emailed Q but I’ve emailed them several times – I only got a response when it was about a story in my (little) town.

  • Dan

    Why don’t people walk around with other signs from the bible… like – “Working on the Sabbath is punishable by death (Exodus 35:10); have you been paying your religious leaders?! Then you have to kill yourself for breaking the Sabbath. Hypocrites!”

    There are lots of wierd but true quotes from the bible that can be used on signs to counterprotest.

  • Mark

    The Johnson’s have a history of disturbing the peace and numerous arrests at GLBT functions. Their purpose is to disturb and promote their type of anit-gay persecution. Their literature and speech is inflammatory, meant to incite, to encourage discrimination and harm. This fosters like-minded folks to discriminate, be violent and worse. The Minneapolis Park Board routinely refuses all sorts of requests that harm the parks or it’s visitors. This is a stunning display of poor judgement.

  • gilber

    or worse, “husband and wife shall become one and the same flesh” i wonder what the fck this means,probably some sort of amalgamation in which the male feel that his wife’s organs are attached to him as well,so he can feel them, better? i don’t know,it is probably some weird way of christian transgenderism? or hermaphroditism? who knows….

  • James

    Wanna let Brian & Doris Johnson know how you feel about them raining on our parade? Call or write them!

    Brian & Doris Johnson
    13250 W State Rd #77
    Hayward, WI 54843
    (715) 634-6006

  • B

    “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,”

    Let’s let the KKK “openly convey their racist and anti-immigration views” to the Sureño and Norteño gangs, which will undoubtedly respond in their customary fashion.

  • Bill Perdue

    What’s the point in muzzling them, unless they advocate or commit violence, and then we should stop them. Bigotry, racism, sexism, immigrant bashing are all endemic to capitalist society and won’t disappear until it does. That’s why we have to be prepared for self-defense at all LGBT events and venue. We have to constantly demand that the courts and police uphold our rights.

    The recently enacted Hate Crimes Act lacks teeth. It should specifically criminalize hate speech or actions that promote violence especially by cult leaders and politicians.

    This is an example”

    “I get amazed, I can’t look at it but about 10 seconds, at these politicians dancing around this, dancing around this, I’m trying to find a correct name for it, this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men.” (shouts from crowd)

    “I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry.” (shouts, applause) “And I’m gonna be blunt and plain, if one ever looks at me like that I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.” (laughter, applause) “In case anybody doesn’t know, God calls it an abomnation (sic). It’s an abomnation (sic)! It’s an abomnation (sic)!” (applause)

    Here’s the video. There’s a commercial at the beginning.

  • ewe

    Can’t they just be quadroned off in the corner behind some fence like we do with the westboro baptist nutfucks?

  • ewe

    It is worthy to note that this is how some self hating closeted gay people get to see the pride parade.

  • B

    No. 2 · Dawson wrote, “The Hurley decision clearly has already address this issue. For those who do not remember this was the issue of not allowing gay organization to march in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.” … but that decision may not apply as in this case because the anti-gay group does not want to march in the parade, making them more like spectators.

    A few years ago, there were a few religious nuts with their “you’re all going to Hell” signs standing next to each other (one with a loud megaphone) picketing the San Francisco pride parade. At one point, a “Star Trek” float went by with George Takei on it, dresses as “Mr. Sulu”. Alas, he was too busy waving to people. People kind of hoped he’d point a “phaser” at the religious nuts and joked about having them “beamed up” (and into the psychiatric ward).

  • Dallas David

    Some enterprising folks need to back a pickup truck with a paper shredding machine and re-process the paper into something useful. Recycle. Reuse.
    Have folks get their free copy of the bible on one streetcorner, and then recycle it on the next.

    Won’t be too many bible-thumpers who would use their money to repeat the experience next year.

Comments are closed.