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Published June 11 2012

Judge: Man can't hand out Bibles at Twin Cities gay pride fest

MINNEAPOLIS — A judge has ruled a Wisconsin man who wants to hand out Bibles at the 40th Annual Twin Cities Pride festival will have to confine himself to a booth just outside of the event.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Monday denied Brian Johnson's request for an injunction that would force the Minneapolis parks board to allow him unrestricted access to festival grounds.

Twin Cities Pride's executive director Dot Belstler tells the Star Tribune the ruling is welcome news.

Johnson's lead attorney, Nate Kellum with the Center for Religious Expression, indicates other legal options are being explored.

Johnson, of Hayward, Wis., contends he has distributed Bibles at the annual event since 1995 and that he had no problems until 2009, when the organization refused to rent him a booth.