Wisconsin’s anti-gay public nuisances Brian and Lois Johnson will be able to distribute Bibles, spread the devil’s word, and wave around their signs at Twin Cities Pride, a federal Judge John Tunheim ruled, denying pride organizers’ demand the Johnsons keep away from their event, which they shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for in permits, security, and logistics. “The court’s task here is to balance these competing interests to the greatest extent possible- — to enable all speakers to exercise their constitutional rights,” the Judge Tunheim says, upholding Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s decision. “And then to depend on reasonable and law-abiding people to stay within proper limits.”
Which means the Johnsons (Brian is pictured, left), and any other hate leader, apparently has the right to violate the U.S. Supreme Court decision that specifically stated event organizers using public space have the right to decide who may participate and what message the event sends.
Judge Tunheim did note how the Johnsons could run afoul of his ruling: “If Johnson or another attendee’s exercise of First Amendment rights affect traffic flow or attendee safety — i.e., by setting up a quasi-‘booth’ in which other visitors stop and slow crowd movement; by carrying boxes of literature or objects so large that they impact crowd movement; by speaking with amplification or otherwise speaking so loudly that the speech is disruptive to other attendees; or by displaying signage that is so cumbersome as to impede the orderly flow of foot traffic — the Court trusts that MPRB police and other security will be well-prepared to address those issues and stop any disruption.”
So verbal disruptions are fine; physical ones are not.