Court: Preachers had right to protest outside pride festival

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The U.S. Court of Appeals says the city of Nashville violated the First Amendment rights of  preachers at a 2015 LGBT pride festival.

The Tennessean reports the decision filed Wednesday reverses the district court’s ruling. John McGlone and Jeremy Peters filed the lawsuit against the city in April 2016, asserting their freedom of speech was violated when they were made to leave the sidewalk in front of the park where the festival was being held. They had been protesting using amplification equipment.

Nashville had argued the protesters’ message interfered with that of the festival. But the decision says that explanation makes it clear that they wouldn’t have been excluded if they weren’t spreading an anti-homosexuality message.

One judge dissented, saying the use of bullhorns was sufficiently disruptive.