A petition is normally subject to the same public disclosure laws as any other document that sets state policy—except, apparently, when Christian conservatives complain that they don't want to be outed for signing it. You see, then everyone could see that they want take away gay rights. Reports Lornet Turnbull in the Seattle Times:
U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle this afternoon granted a temporary restraining order requested by Protect Washington Families to stop the Secretary of State's Office and the Public Records Officer from making the signers' names public.
Public release of the documents is now on hold pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 3.
Larry Stickney, campaign manager with Protect Marriage Washington, called it a good outcome. "We think it's good news."
A consortium of religious conservative organizations and individuals, Protect Marriage Washington on Saturday submitted 138,500 signatures to the secretary of state seeking to force Referendum 71 onto the November ballot. At least 120,577 of the signatures must be valid in order for the referendum to qualify.
A gay-rights organization — whosigned.org — had said it would make the names and addresses of signers available on a searchable Web site as soon as they are public.
The lawsuit filed by Protect Marriage Washington claims, "The possibility that such physical harm could be directed at supporters of traditional marriage has chilled the speech of supporters of traditional marriage, and will continue to do so in the future." First, the speech it could chill are bald-faced lies (see the article in this week's paper), so no tragedy there. And second, they've got this backwards. It's conservatives—not lefty gay huggers—who are known for murdering and terrorizing the people they disagree with.