The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to
block release of the names of signers of a petition that attempted to
repeal a Washington law that recognizes gay and lesbian couples with
nearly all the legal protections of marriage, the Seattle
“This means we can once again release
these public records,” Katie Blinn, co-director of the state
elections in the office of Secretary of State Sam Reed, told the
Gay marriage opponents wanted to block
the public release of the nearly 138,000 signatures that put
Referendum 71 on the state's ballot in 2009 while a lower court's
ruling is appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals. The ballot initiative asked voters to accept – or reject
– an expansion of an existing domestic partnership law approved by
lawmakers. Voters opted 53-to-46 to keep the law dubbed “everything
but marriage” by the media.
Protect Marriage Washington, the
Christian conservative group behind the lawsuit, argued that the
signers would be harmed – either verbally or physically – if
their names were disclosed.
“We still think the people who signed
these petitions in good faith acted in a way they didn't think would
expose them to the kind of ridicule and possible danger we feel is
out there,” Protect Marriage Washington Spokesman Gary Randall
earlier told the Seattle Times.
The development might effect a repeal
effort expected to take place if Washington lawmakers approve a
proposed gay marriage bill next year.