Duluth has settled a long-running lawsuit with two men who sued the city over access to a popular holiday festival to preach their Christian views.
The deal approved Monday by the Duluth City Council calls for the city to pay $177,500 in legal fees but also restricts preaching at the Bentleyville Tour of Lights to a "free speech area" outside the festival's main gates.
Duluth city attorney Gunnar Johnson says it's a compromise. "The idea is to balance their right to free speech with the right of families and people to go to Bentleyville and not be harassed as they try to enjoy the amenities there," Johnson said.
The settlement followed several months of mediation. Steve Jankowski of Duluth and Peter Scott of Hibbing sued Duluth in 2011.