Los Angeles Airport's Hare Krishna Ban Upheld

Group barred from seeking donations from LAX passengers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
The 1980 movie "Airplane" lampooned religious organization's practice of soliciting donations from air travelers.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Travelers should be able to pass through the nation's third-busiest airport without being hassled for cash by Hare Krishnas, California's Supreme Court ruled yesterday. The court decided that banning panhandling at Los Angeles Airport by the Krishnas or any other group doesn't violate free speech guarantees. The decision ends the organization's long legal battle to be able to solicit donations at the airport.

"Travelers often are in a hurry, and the airport often is crowded," one justice wrote, noting that donation-seekers can delay or intimidate passengers. The decision is "disgusting," said a spokesman for the Hare Krishnas, who will still be allowed to preach at the airport. "They finally get rid of the Hare Krishnas, which is what they wanted to do all along," he told the Los Angeles Times. "They just want to get rid of people who make them feel uncomfortable."

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