Thursday, October 22, 2009

Supreme Court Keeps Names on Ref. 71 Petitions Private

The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the names and addresses of Ref. 71 petition signers in Washington State to be kept private. Ref. 71 will allow voters to decide if the state should expand domestic partnerships to be marriage in all but name. Personal attacks were seen in California last year after voters approved Prop. 8 — the constitutional amendment that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Names of petition-signers there were released to the public. Lawyers for Washington have argued that the state's Public Records Act demands names be released. Homosexual-activist groups were also pushing for the names. "The Supreme Court took a large step forward in protecting the rights of citizens who support a traditional definition of marriage to speak freely," said James Bopp, lead counsel for Protect Marriage Washington. "No citizen should ever have their personal property destroyed or receive death threats for exercising their right to engage in the political process." []

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