Washington’s Anti-Gay Signatories Get to Hide


Well ain’t that some shit: The people who want to strip Washington’s gays (and seniors) of domestic partnership rights get to hide behind their bigotry. Those who signed petitions to put Referendum 71 on the November ballot, giving voters a chance to repeal the legislature’s passage of “everything but marriage,” will have their identities hidden — for now, ruled a judge, who said he was “not persuaded that waiver of one’s fundamental right to anonymous political speech is a prerequisite for participation in Washington’s referendum process.” But here’s the thing: If you’re going to influence public policy, and contribute to the lawmaking process, then constituents should have a right to know your name. This isn’t so they can come by and toilet paper your house or harass you on the street; it’s so they can stop supporting your business and, if they live next door to you, opt not to pick up the mail while the neighborhood hater is out of town.

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  • terrwill

    What happened to “we don’t want to deny Gays any benefits, we just object to the term “marriage” being used”………..low life hating scumbags

  • Jaroslaw

    Since when are petitions not public record? How did this get to a judge in the first place? Queerty should have put the judge’s name & e-mail/phone address in the article so we can send him a (polite) but nonetheless a note about how we feel about public records.

  • Jaroslaw

    I left a msg at the courthouse with Joseph Whitely, who I think is his clerk. I was transferred, so I don’t know the direct number but I dialed 253-882-3800. I made it clear that although I know he (Mr. Whitely) isn’t personally responsible, I expressed my displeasure that Judge Settle is not following state law making petition records public.

    For those inclined to write:

    Judge Benjamin Settle
    Union Station Courthouse
    1717 Pacific Avenue, Room 3100
    Tacoma, Washington 98402

  • Cam

    I’m curious….we have to declare our political party on record, that is public. As I understand there is a right to free speech, there isn’t a right to have your free speech hidden from view, if there was then all those politicians that got caught on tape saying idiotic things would have been able to keep that hidden. Marion Barry would never have had “Bitch Set Me Up” go down in history etc…

  • Grey

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a so-called “fundamental right to anonymous political speech” (emphasis added). We guarantee the right to political speech but the only Constitutional guarantee to anonymity in the political realm that I’ve heard of is the private ballot.

    There are very sound public policy reasons why these should not be kept private, including providing a checks-and-balance approach for voter fraud. Yes, I know the Secretary of State’s office did their own checks for that, but that won’t catch things that voters in Massachusetts found: some people discovered their names were on the list because they were tricked into believing they were signing something else, and some people found that others had signed their name without their knowledge or consent.

    And in the case of keeping campaign contributions public (which will be their next lawsuit, as it has been in other states), the public deserves to know the true identities of the individuals and companies supporting or opposing political initiatives and candidates. It’s more than knowing which businesses they might wish to avoid patronizing. It’s also about making sure that people or companies can’t conceal a hidden agenda. If tobacco companies are supporting an initiative that claims to restrict smoking, that’s suspicious. If private insurance companies are the sole backers of a health care “reform” initiative, that’s suspicious. rting If a wealthy Scientologist is helping finance a mental health counseling “reform,” that’s suspicious. If oil companies are secretly supporting an environmental initiative and environmental groups are opposing it, voters deserve to know that. Knowing the true financial backers or opponents of a political campaign is part of helping voters see passed the rhetoric to make an informed choice.

  • schlukitz


    Are the religious fundamentalists who got YesonProp8 passed (a clear violation of our American Constitution), going to be allowed to get away with the transforming of our government into a total theocracy as well?

  • JT

    As long as the govt is involved in the marriage process, while the religious are allowed to dictate what the word ‘marriage’ means, the ‘separation of church and state’ doesn’t actually exist.

    The govt needs to get out of the marriage business altogether if it is willing to let people vote on eliminating the rights of a group of people.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    If full disclosure is disallowed, what’s to prevent fraud? If we cannot know who is creating laws limiting/taking our rights away, how can we refute the action? Bigots know it’s wrong to discriminate, that’s why secrecy is so important to these slime-molds. If they were proud of their actions, it would be out in the open. I want to know who is voting against my spouse and me, so that I can stop doing business with them. If it’s a restauranteur, then we can avoid their establishment. If it’s a sporting goods store, another can be found instead.

    AMERICANS UNITED for separation of Church and State is a worthwhile organization. If DNC dollars were funneled there instead, that would have an impact on politics.

Comments are closed.