Federal Judge Protects Names of Donors to WA Referendum 71
A federal judge has kept sealed the names of donors to Washington's Referendum 71, which places the state's "everything but marriage" domestic partner laws before voters in November, the Seattle Times reports:
"But Protect Marriage argued that the law 'chills free speech ... particularly when it is reasonably probable that those exercising their First Amendment rights would be subjected to threats and harassment.' Stephen Pidgeon, attorney with Protect Marriage, said: 'We think this is a good decision. It protects Washington voters' right to speak freely even in impassioned debate.' But Brian Zylstra, spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said the judge's decision 'is a step away from open government...When people sign a referendum or initiative petition, they are trying to change state law,' he said. "We believe that changing state law should be open to public view.'"
Yesterday, Washington Families Standing Together, a group which was attempting to block Referendum 71 from making the ballot, announced it would not appeal a decision by a Thurston County judge allowing the measure to go forward and instead work on a campaign to ensure the domestic partner law is retained.