Much to the anguish of the anti-gay hate industry, today a federal judge ordered the release of the names on Referendum 71, the 2009 petition attempt to repeal Washington state’s domestic partners law.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said in a ruling Monday that it was unlikely that signers would face threats or harassment. Opponents of the law that expanded gay partnership rights managed to get enough signatures in 2009 to force a vote on the issue. They had pushed in court to keep the names of petition supporters private, arguing that it was a contentious issue and that people could be harassed.
RELATED: Referendum 71 failed by a margin of 53-47, becoming the first ever statewide LGBT rights law to be upheld by a public vote. Today’s ruling follows a June 2010 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which voted 8-1 to uphold the constitutionality of releasing the names.
UPDATE: The above-linked article has been updated to report that a DVD containing all 138,000 petition names has been provided to the press. The names were released despite a promised appeal of the decision. You should check out the comments and their replies.