US Supreme Court to decide if Washington R-71 names public - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

US Supreme Court to decide if Washington R-71 names public

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WASHINGTON. - The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to publicly release the names of Washington voters who signed a referendum on gay rights.
     
The people who brought R-71 to the ballot in November, a group called Protect Marriage Washington, says releasing the names of supporters would open them to harassment by gay rights activists.
     
A federal judge in Tacoma first blocked the release of the 139,000 names. Then a federal appeals court said the names should be released. They've been withheld while the case goes to the Supreme Court.
     
In November's referendum Washington voters decided to uphold the so-called "everything but marriage" law that gives domestic partners the same legal rights as married couples.
     
A lawyer for Protect Marriage Washington, James Bopp, Jr., says traditional marriage supporters should be able to speak freely, without fear.
     
Secretary of State Sam Reed says petition names are public records and should be released.

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