Court: Preachers had right to protest outside pride festival

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MIAMI – FEBRUARY 02: A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The museum is located in the only known structure in the nation that was designed, devoted to and operated as a separate station […]

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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.

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