Will 138,000 Anti-Gay WA Petitioners Get Harassed Now That They’ve Been Unmasked?

Federal judge Benjamin Settle ruled that anti-gay group Protect Marriage Washington (PWS) had to release the names of over 138,000 petition signers who sought to overturn the state’s gay partnership laws in a 2009 ballot measure called Referendum 71. PWS claimed that LGBTs would threaten and harass the petition signers if their names became public. But smart LGBTs will probably do little more than reach out to them.

Unlike Prop 8, Referendum 71 got beaten 53 percent to 47 percent—marking the first time that U.S. voters extended LGBT relationship rights. Thus, there’s a lot less acrimony and desire for “payback.” If anything, the newly release list of names should behoove LGBT activist groups to sit down with the petition signers and learn why they sought to vote against gay rights in the first place. The knowledge would surely come in handy for addressing potentially anti-gay voters in the upcoming Minnesota and North Carolina marriage battles.

Image via roxxannejomitchell