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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Washington Law For Same-Sex Unions

Washington is one of the states whose citizens have the power to veto bills enacted by the legislature. The opponents of same-sex civil unions have circulated petitions for a referendum on the domestic partnership law passed by the legislature. On July 28, these backers of the referendum brought a lawsuit asking that the names and addresses of the petition signers be kept private. Today the U. S. district judge issued a temporary restraining order, protecting the signers' privacy until the case has been decided (Protect Marriage Washington v. Reed, 3:09-cv-0546).

Ballot Access News says: "There have been few precedents on whether the names and addresses of people who sign petitions should be considered a public record. Some states provide by law that the records are not public, but most states do not. ... . No one knows yet if the petition has enough valid signatures. Proponents submitted 138,500 signatures. They need 120,577 valid signatures, so it seems somewhat likely the petition will fall short."

Thus it's possible that the referendum will not qualify for the ballot, but the signers' identities will be made public anyway, putting them at risk for harassment. That would, in my view, be outrageous.


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