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U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten dismissed an injunction that PETA had filed against the Kansas State Fair Board.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has reserved a booth at the fair in Hutchinson and is planning to show a graphic slaughterhouse video. The board is requiring PETA to situate its video monitor in such a way as to make it difficult for children and other passersby to see. PETA considers that a restriction of its First Amendment rights.
Arguing for PETA at the federal courthouse in Wichita, attorney William Raney said the fair is not a "limited forum," which would allow it to restrict certain messages from being presented.
Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister argued that the fair is within its rights to ask PETA to invite fairgoers into its booth to view the video. McAllister said the fair has restricted Operation Rescue from showing graphic, bloody images of aborted fetuses, and that its objections are about the viewpoint, not the content, of the video.
In issuing his ruling, Judge Marten said the fair board is within its rights to require PETA to limit the way it is showing its 13-minute video. Marten called it a "minimal restriction" to PETA's message, saying that the fair has met a standard of reasonableness in not allowing the organization to shove its message into the faces of unwilling viewers.
Raney said he would confer with his client to determine whether PETA will appeal the case further.