Main | Thursday, August 12, 2010

R-71 Petition Names Remain Sealed

Even though the Supreme Court ruled in June that forcing Protect Marriage Washington to disclose the names on their petitions was not unconstitutional, yesterday a federal judge blocked the release of the names as the bigots continues their bid to show that violent homofascists will rain down retribution if R-71's signers become known.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle ruled Wednesday to extend a restraining order that bars public release of the signatures while the case moves forward. He said that if the names were disclosed before a hearing on the case, it would essentially make the case moot. "The release of the names and addresses could not be undone," he said. Stickney's attorney said that the case centered on how the public records act is balanced against First Amendment issues when people want to voice their opinion on a volatile issue. "If you're talking about a nonvolatile issue, like adjusting the sales tax, in most cases that's not going to rise to a constitutional challenge," said Steven Pidgeon, an attorney for Protect Marriage. "But when you have a situation where people are saying 'I'm not going to sign a petition because if I do, my car is going to get keyed, my windows will get broken,' it becomes a different issue."

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