Seattle Judge: Gay city workers names don’t have to be released, for now
Posted on July 2, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
A King County judge has temporarily barred the release of the names of Seattle city employees involved in a city-sponsored group for gay and lesbian workers to an anti-gay rights activist.
Superior Court Judge John Erlick ordered that some requested documents be released Monday, with the names of meeting attendees redacted. The identities of city employees who received a “public benefit” through the group — likely wages on other compensation — may be released following a hearing later this year.
At issue Thursday was a request made by Seattle City Light employee and self-described “civil rights leader” Philip Irvin, who had filed a public-disclosure request for the membership list and meeting minutes for the department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning and Friends Club. Irvin, who says he wants to start a similar group for formerly gay employees, asserts that the club has discriminated against him for his opposition to gay rights.
In issuing his order, Erlick acknowledged that releasing the employees’ identities could discourage others from joining the LGBTQF group. But, he said there remains a clear public interest in knowing who is receiving state benefits, and payment for meeting attendance or other compensation to group members, Erlick said, “is a public benfit.”
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