Minnesota News

Court upholds free-speech rights in Duluth case

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- A federal court has issued a preliminary ruling that would allow two preachers to share their religious beliefs at Bentleyville Tour of Lights in Duluth.

The preachers sued the city, saying they were ordered out of last year's event because they refused to stop preaching. They argued that the grounds are public and said their First Amendment rights were infringed.

The city countered that Bentleyville leases the city property and hence controls access to the grounds.

A Duluth News Tribune report says a federal magistrate handed the preachers a short-term win Wednesday with a preliminary injunction. That means that until a final ruling is issued, the city can't bar anyone from exercising their First Amendment rights on public property.

Bentleyville's attorney says the organization will abide by the decision.

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