Main | Thursday, June 24, 2010

BREAKING: Supreme Court Rules Names On Referendum 71 Must Be Made Public

The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that anti-gay activists in Washington state MUST make public the names on Referendum 71. Protect Marriage wanted to keep the names secret, claiming they feared retribution from "violent homofascists." The ruling (PDF) was 8-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting.
Justices ruled in a case called Doe V. Reed. They heard oral arguments in Washington, D.C., April 28. The conservative group that tried to block release of the signatures wanted the nation's high court to uphold a lower court ruling that said signing petitions and referendum is constitutionally protected political speech - which by law is OK to engage in anonymously. The group, Protect Marriage Washington, asked justices to shield the names of the 138,000 people who signed Referendum 71 petitions in hopes of overturning the "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partner law. In November Washington voters upheld the new statute. Gay rights groups have said they'll post the petition signers' names online, and some fear harassment or threats if their names are revealed.
The Court's decision, of course, has far-reaching implications for the transparency of the referendum process and campaign finance laws nationwide. SO SUCK IT, NOM! This is a GREAT day for LGBT Americans and the democratic process.

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