Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Friday, March 26, 2010

Secretary of State Files Brief in R-71 Supreme Court Case

Posted by on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 6:22 AM

Admittedly, Referendum 71, which voters passed last fall to uphold the state's third domestic-partnership law, feels like ancient history. But our state is still involved in a lawsuit over releasing the names and addresses of the bigots who signed the petition. It's going before the Supreme Court next month. The anti-gay lobby Protect Marriage Washington argues that if the names are released, the signers will be the targets violence (from irate gays who are still pissed that these folks were trying to take away the rights of same-sex couples). The state argues, however, that petitions are public records, the public has a legitimate interest in accessing those sorts of records, and that these petitions signers aren't at risk of violence, just awkward conversations. More background is here.

In that vein, the Secretary of State's office has filed a 60-page brief (.pdf) to the high court arguing to release the names of the petition signers. SOS spokesman David Ammons describes the state's interest:

The closely watched disclosure case has implications for all initiative and referendum petitions, including those in other states. Washington has never released the R-71 petitions due to a preliminary injunction that remains in place for that and other initiative petitions, including many sponsored by initiative activist Tim Eyman. ...

In a brief written by Deputy Solicitor William Collins, the state defends the Public Records Act and the state’s release policy. The act of signing a petition is described as a public legislative action by citizens, essentially like seconding a motion on a bill. No constitutional rights are abridged, and indeed, voters’ need for pertinent election information is enhanced, the brief says. They square the state’s policy with the disclosure portion of the recently released Citizens United case in the Supreme Court. And state attorneys say the issue of potential harassment of petition signers is not before the court, since it was not the subject of the district and appeals court rulings.

Cross your fingers: The Supreme Court has a long history of overturning cases from the 9th Circuit (as of last summer, the court has overturned 15 of the 16 cases from the 9th Circuit that session), and we're relying on teabagging Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna to argue in the interest of the gays. The Supreme Court will hear the case on April 28.


Comments (13) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Cato the Younger Younger 1
Am I still pissed at these cowards who want to take my rights away? Yeah I still am and always will be to be honest. And yeah, I want to know who they are. I want to know if I work for them, or have had to do business with them. I want to know who my enemies are for my own protection. Not to be violent against them.

Though, anyone willing to take my rights away at the ballot box are probably more likely to initiate violence against my person than I am towards them. Just a rule of history.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on March 26, 2010 at 7:01 AM · Report this
The same people that want to be protected from the angry gays are the ones that feel that they have the absolute right to do this:…

And the man that is representing our interests is the same person that Dan mocked this week? Nice!
Posted by patrick66 on March 26, 2010 at 7:20 AM · Report this
Zoroastronomer 3
@2, How eloquent of them. Of course, they are so leotarded that they ignored the fact that Stupak stood up for THEIR interests.

Back on topic, I can't imagine why they want to keep the names secret. Liberals and their ilk (and moderates and others respectful of the rights of others) are NOT the ones who perpetrate violence against their neighbors, unlike the anti-HCR teabags.

I think the signers are afraid that some 'mos may show up to their doors with tastefully decorated fruit baskets, wanting to talk about being neighborly. Remember Dom's "Why Do You Hate Me?" piece? Yeah. Like that. "Whut thuh fuhck? These here queers er just lahk us?!?!? Whar's yer feather boa an platform shoes?!? And how come ya haven't tried ta put yer weiner in my butt yet?!? I thought that's what you people were all about!"
Posted by Zoroastronomer on March 26, 2010 at 7:55 AM · Report this
Baconcat 4
@2: Defending our rights? No, he's defending state business in public records disclosure.

McKenna does not like the GLBT community, period.
Posted by Baconcat on March 26, 2010 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Frau Blucher 5
I don't trust these bigots as far as I can throw them. They've lied and cheated their way through this whole process.

I wouldn't put it pass them to forge signatures on an initiative, therefore it is imperative that signatures be allowed review. The bigots simply can't be trusted.
Posted by Frau Blucher on March 26, 2010 at 8:10 AM · Report this
the need to review the signature sis irrelevant. the fears of violence are irrelevant. the only issue is when you sign do you expect privacy on a piece of paper that someone else hands you that will be counted by the govt. officials that could be the subject of a lawsuit that is a legislative act that is usually done in the fucking parking lot of a fucking public grocery store.....that is usually copied before the campaign hands it in, duh, giving about 10 people access to it at first and later some 7 million in the state of washington.

it's just not private speech, to begin with.

but hey watch roberts hold it's coerced speech to say who you are, then he will hold that disclosures on donations are coerced speech and invalidate all campaign donation disclosure laws as forced speech...they're going to use the first amendment as a fig leaf to gut campaign finance disclosures.

so that brown and root now known as halliburton can go back to giving bags of cash with hudnreds of thousands of dollars in them to politicians. that's speech, you see, and they have the right to do it in private.....
Posted by You read it here first on March 26, 2010 at 8:16 AM · Report this
Theshue 7
Does that mean they will lift my voluntary casino ban?
Posted by Theshue on March 26, 2010 at 9:31 AM · Report this

No, what they're REALLY afraid of is being publicly identified as the bigots they are.

They know in their hearts they're bigots, but so long as they can maintain the pretense of anonymity, they can continue their hypocritical stance, being all nicey-nice on the outside, but seething with hatred on the inside. Once people KNOW they signed the petitions, they won't be able to fall back on that Janus-like pose anymore.

This is simply the last gasp of a dying prejudice; they know it, but they're going to cling to it to the bitter end.
Posted by COMTE on March 26, 2010 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
COMTE ftw @8.

It really does bug them.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 26, 2010 at 10:17 AM · Report this
in-frequent 10
@8 i think you are mostly right. but i'm not sure they "know" in their hearts that they are bigots as much as they know in their hearts that people think they are bigots. many christians are trained well to believe they are victims, that they are the ones being persecuted -- even when the truth may be the exact opposite. they've painted in their minds a picture of the "enemy," just as you have, and are fearful of that enemy. some irrationally fear violence, others fear rejection, exposure, or -- as you've indicated -- the fear that someone they work for or employ will find out.

there is no doubt in my mind that these names should be released. not just because i prefer that as the way for handling initiatives, but because that was the way initiatives were handled when these people signed. they should have known there names would be released. their outrage, i suspect, has been mostly manufactured by those who do want to act with impunity.
Posted by in-frequent on March 26, 2010 at 10:41 AM · Report this
very bad homo 11
FACT: Signing a petition is a public record, and everybody knows this when they sign it.
Posted by very bad homo on March 26, 2010 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Queer Equality Revolution 12

Queers are all allowed to fight our own personal battles with the government directly, regardless of how it affects "THE MOVEMENT", esp. when we are struggling to just LIVE our lives and feel excluded and marginalized by the organizations that claim to represent us.

A Rich-Queer may not understand this position, but a Poor-Queer with no money, job, or home and a lifetime of abusive discrimination will understand why a man chains himself to a government building and demands federal accountability, draws his firearm on a I.R.S. agent to prevent any intrusion due to taxation without equality, or burns down a hate organization's church due to their hateful, aggressive targeting of our families and children.

These acts are acts of desperation, for sure, but MANY of us are getting desperate for REAL ACTIONS that produce REAL RESULTS.
Posted by Queer Equality Revolution on March 26, 2010 at 12:47 PM · Report this
@12: the problem with your argument is that chaining yourself to a government building, etc., doesn't produce any results. It just makes you (and the rest of us) look like ridiculous fools. Particularly when you egregiously break the law and violate other people's rights (to freedom from physical harm or damage to property, for example) in the process. Your rights are no more important than anyone else's, and you don't get to achieve them at someone else's expense.

The "movement" as you call it -- that is: the organized, methodical, thoughtful and intentional effort to bring about positive change for the LGBTQ community -- is what has achieved the successes our community has seen in the last 30 years. If you think social change happens overnight, or because of protests in the street or radical and illegal actions I'd urge you to go back to school and study it before you get yourself thrown in prison and, more importantly, threaten the progress of those of us who are working to end discrimination and inequality day in and day out. The very progress which you say you want more of.

Inasmuch as you don't feel represented by the movement for its unwillingness to cowtow to your unthinking, anger-driven mentality, please remember that YOU don't represent the huge number of LGBTQ people and families who are too busy being productive members of society to spend time being whipped up into a froth on the internet.
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on March 26, 2010 at 8:42 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy