WA’s 138,000 Homophobes Stay Hidden Thanks To Last Minute Appeal

Protect Marriage Washington just filed an emergency motion to the 9th Circuit federal court to appeal the court ordered release of the 138,000 names sponsoring Referendum 71, the failed 2009 ballot measure to overturn the state’s gay partnership laws. The court will consider the emergency motion on Monday even though the Secretary of State has already released 30 DVDs with all the signers’ names.

You didn’t think the National Organization of Marriage would let justice prevail so easily, did you? JoJo and Maggs love a good, prolonged, unnecessary fight.

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  • kylew

    Does anyone know if it’s usual for sponsors’ names to be published for this kind of referendum? I suppose it seems logical that they would be – after all, one needs to know the interests of those people proposing such a referendum.

  • the crustybastard


    Yes. The Washington State Public Records Act requires such information to be made available to the public.

  • kylew

    @the crustybastard: Thanks – then I have no possible idea how this group of sponsors can in any way even apply for special status.

  • the crustybastard


    Courts have — albeit rarely — shielded members of vulnerable minorities from public disclosure laws. I remember a case involving disclosure of NAACP membership rolls during a very contentious period in the civil rights era, in a Southern state, where the state clearly meant to engage in punitive action, and vaguely recall another about communists during the Red Scare, IIRC.

    But merely being opposed to gay rights doesn’t make a person a member of some particularly despised or vilified minority, so no sensible court is going to allow these particular signers to be shielded based on mere speculation or the foot-stamping insistence of the plaintiff.

    And that’s all the plaintiff has managed to muster — which is why they keep losing.

  • Ian

    It’s appeals and other crap like this that make me no longer want to practice law. Uggh.

  • Michael

    Uhh cowards ALWAYS hide how is this the least bit surprising with these people?

  • Hyhybt

    Not that this can get them anywhere anyway, as they’ve already lost all the way to the Supreme Court and back again, but if they’ve already sent out even 30 DVDs then it’s too late. The names will be online *somewhere*…. which also means the court is bound to notice that, even if there otherwise were a benefit to hiding them officially, there isn’t anymore.

  • Skeloric

    If there is list, we’ll see it soon enough.
    Hell, video games get bootlegged even before the leave the factory these days so a simple list…? I’d be checking a torrent site right about now.

  • Riker

    With any luck, somebody with a copy of this DVD will send it to Julian Assange to post on Wikileaks.

  • pgbach

    Update: 30 of 32 data-CDs have already been released. Hence, the emergency appeal isn’t slowing things down that much. Also, expect the 9th Circuit to rule against NOW on Monday. This whole thing is about publicity for NOW and their claims to being victims.

  • Riker

    @pgbach: What does feminism have to do with this?

  • kylew

    @the crustybastard: So by this logic, if I affiliate myself with a hate group, I can expect to have my identity legally protected whilst I hatemonger with impunity because I will be unpopular once I do so? It’s a long time since I had ANY respect for the law, and this is just another example of why.

  • kylew

    @Ian: I agree Ian – the law has long been about procedure over intent, which is why it needs principled people like you to stay with it to change it for the better.

  • randy

    The legal bills for NOM must be astronomical. The catholic and mormon churches must have VERY deep pockets to give their attorneys virtually an unlimited budget. If I were their law firm, I would bill up the wazoo because there just ain’t no limit to the amount of money they will spend to protect themselves.

  • the crustybastard


    That’s not what I wrote at all. Try reading it again.

    If you’d prefer to read the SCOTUS opinion that explains the concept in full, google “Doe v Reed.”

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