A lawsuit that attempted to remove the
names of Proposition 8 contributors from public view has failed,
reports The Associated Press.
U.S. District Judge
Morrison England Jr. disagreed with supporters of the ballot measure
that stripped the right to marry from gay and lesbian couples in
California. England said the law is intended to protect the public.
“If there ever
needs to be sunshine on a political issue, it is with a ballot
measure,” England said.
and the National Organization for Marriage California, the groups
that backed passage of Proposition 8, said the anonymity is needed
because donors are being harassed.
“No one should
have to worry about getting a death threat because of the way he or
she votes,” James Bopp Jr., an attorney for the plaintiffs said
before the ruling.
asked the court to order the secretary of state's office to remove
the names of Proposition 8 contributors from its website and unburden
the two groups from filing a final report on late donations due on
Monday. The lawsuit also challenged the constitutionality of
California's campaign finance laws.
But much of the
harassment alleged in the complaint turned out to be First Amendment
protected free speech, such as boycotts and protests, the state said.
Gay rights groups
called the challenge hypocritical.
founder of Californians Against Hate, a group noted in the lawsuit as
existing for “the primary purpose of identifying and taking action
against supporters of Proposition 8,” said: “After winning their
deceitful campaign by only 4% points, they now hoped to keep the
names secret of another 6,600 donors who must be reported on Monday,
February 2. This is despicable.”
And Geoff Kors, executive director of
Equality California, the group that led the campaign against the gay
marriage ban, pointed out that Prop 8 backers used the very same
campaign finance records during the campaign to threaten gay marriage
these records to attack corporations, to attack individuals,” Kors
Plaintiffs did not
disclose if they would pursue an appeal.