Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Fast Tracks Referendum 71 Hearing on Release of Petition Signatures

Washington state's public records law is a stake in the case over petition signatures that enabled anti-LGBT Referendum 71 to get on November's ballot.

Those who opposed Washington's "everything but marriage law", which extended all the rights and benefits of marriage to domestic partner,s were responsible for Referendum 71, but they want the identities of those who signed to get it on the ballot private fearing harassment from LGBT advocacy groups. Brian Murphy, who blogs as the Gay Curmudgeon, vowed to post the names on his website, similar to what Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate did to those who signed to get Prop 8 on the ballot.

Yet keeping the names private violates the state's public records law.

Earlier this month, Federal Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma ruled in favor of a preliminary injunction against releasing the names, but state Attorney General Rob McKenna appealed.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted McKenna's request for a fast-track appeal. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14 in Pasadena, California.

"The bottom line for us is that we will do what is necessary to protect our public records law," says AG office spokesman Dan Sytman. When asked if they'll take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary: "We are very serious about defending our public records law, so I think we have a record for going the distance on that."

Vote to APPROVE the new domestic partnership law. APPROVE REFERENDUM 71.

1 comment:

  1. These Ref 71 people are so chicken-shit. They aren't even proud enough of their hate to stand behind it publicly. If they had the least bit of integrity they would stand behind what they are doing instead of whining that fair-minded people would boycott their businesses if they knew who they are.
    From the Seattle Times article -
    ...But Protect Marriage argued that the law "chills free speech ... particularly when it is reasonably probable that those exercising their First Amendment rights would be subjected to threats and harassment."

    "..[Federal Judge] Settle said Protect Marriage has established that it's likely that signing a referendum petition is protected free speech, which includes the right to speak anonymously."
    I love the Right always talking about activist judges when a progressive judge makes a decision against their views but this judge is making law because he is saying that the Washington State's law could be ultimately found unconstitutional. That is not his function at his level.
    And I did confirm that he was a Bush appointed judge confirmed on June 28, 2007. How did I know?