Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Full Disclosure: The Supreme Court Will Soon Decide If Petition Signers Are Entitled to Privacy

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Full Disclosure: The Supreme Court Will Soon Decide If Petition Signers Are Entitled to Privacy

Article excerpt

MANY OF THE HUNDREDS of thousands who supported an effort to deny expanded domestic-partnership rights to same-sex couples in Washington State want to hide their involvement. And now a case to be heard this spring by the Supreme Court could grant them their wish--and make it easier for those pushing antigay ballot measures to cover the money trail behind their efforts.

The case, Doe v. Reed, stems from a 2009 initiative--Referendum 71--that put those expanded rights, already approved by the state legislature, to a popular vote. Voters OK'd the stronger domestic-partnership law, and it went into effect. But activists tried to dissuade future antigay initiatives by invoking state law to make public the names and addresses of the 138,000 who signed the petition to get the measure on the ballot.

Plaintiffs in an ensuing lawsuit, including conservative group Protect Marriage Washington, argue that signing a ballot petition is a form of protected political speech and state disclosure law violates their First Amendment rights. But Washington's secretary of state, Sam Reed, and public records officer, Brenda Galarza, say that signing a petition is a legislative act not entitled to secrecy. No names have been made public pending the high court hearing, which was scheduled for April 28. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.