IDs of gay partnership foes could be released next week
Posted on July 30, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
The names of people who signed petitions seeking to overturn Washington’s “everything but marriage” same-sex domestic partner law won’t be released publicly following a federal judge’s temporary restraining order.
Sponsors of Referendum 71 went to U.S. District Court in Tacoma Wednesday seeking the order. U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle has set a full hearing on the matter for Sept. 3.
The names of everyone who signed Referendum-71 petitions are publicly available under open-government laws. A gay-rights group says it wants to post all the names online. But the R-71 campaign says that could lead to harassment.
Nick Handy, state elections director, said in a statement: “Referendum petitions become public records under the law once they have been turned over to us by sponsors. Our consistent practice has been to make these available upon public request. By early next week we will be in a position to make these available, and absent a court order, our intent has been to respond to public records requests in a timely way.”
Backers of R-71 turned in about 138,000 signatures Saturday. They need 120,577 valid voter signatures to qualify for the fall ballot.
Election officials suggest submitting about 150,000 signatures to offset any invalid signatures. Dave Ammons, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said usually about 18 percent of signatures checked turn out to be invalid.
The process of counting and verifying the signatures could go until the last week of August.
See IDs of gay partnership foes could be released next week Seattle Post Intelligencer
Wash. gay partnership foes try to shield signers
Wash. gay partnership foes say “too close to call”
Drive to stop gay partnership law is dividing conservatives
A political fight over the rights of same-sex…