Supreme Court to Hear Washington R-71 Signature Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on the Referendum 71 signature disclosure case and will decide whether or not voters who signed petitions in support of the measure intended to thwart Washington's "everything but marriage" law should be made public:

R71 "The justices said Friday they'll consider an appeal of a lower court's ruling that the names should be released. Legal scholars nationwide have been following the R-71 case, saying it could have broad implications for public disclosure laws. Arguments will take place in April.

Protect Marriage Washington sought to block the release of the names of the 138,000 people who signed petitions in hopes of overturning the 'everything but marriage' same-sex domestic partner law. In November Washington voters upheld the new statute. Gay rights groups have said they'll post the petition signers' names online, and some fear harassment or threats if their names are revealed.

The ultimate decision could have far-reaching impacts, not just on the state's initiative and referendum process, but also for other 'open government' laws like the disclosure of who contributes to political campaigns, and how much they give."

As you may recall, voters approved R-71, which allowed the domestic partnership law to go into effect on December 3.


  1. says

    SCOTUS didn’t “side with the Prop 8 bigots,” as you (and TR would scare us into believing. Instead, they sided against 11th hour rule changes. While I wanted this case to be televised so badly, if it was determined that Judge Walker didn’t follow procedure to do so, then I’ll suck up my disappointment.

    You shouldn’t tie the outcome of one case to another.

    the R71 case is MUCH more important. If the appeal wins, our government will become a lot less transparent. If it loses, it won’t be a victory for gay rights but rather a victory for democratic principles; a vote that a shadowy group can’t put measures to public vote without being held accountable.

    Case in point: if my name and signature were ever used on a ballot initiative without my consent, how would I ever know unless those records were made public?

  2. Bill says

    Heterosexuals don’t want gay people to be on a level playing field with them. That is what the Supreme Court decision was about. It was about advantaging heterosexual-only marriage supporters by hiding their true hateful intentions. Heterosexuals want it to look like they are voting against gay people’s rights without hate. Heterosexuals don’t want the same marriage certificate they have as being equal to one a gay couple has. They want to be perpetually advantaged because they believe they are better than non-heterosexuals.

    Heterosexuals in Washington state from the attorney general down to election counters made sure Referendum 71 got on the ballot even though it did not have enough signatures to. The supreme court will rule to hide the signatures because once again they want to advantage heterosexuals. They want heterosexuals to have free reign to carry out voter fraud by forging names on the next anti-gay petition.

  3. darkmoonman says

    Just to clarify: in the past, any & all signatures on pro-Gay petitions in Washington have been public property, despite the very real concerns of anti-Gay violence, under the state’s laws which say that such information is open to public access. Now, the anti-Gay right wingers want special rights.

  4. Kyle says

    I find it very interesting that the opponents of gay equality want to hide in the closet because they fear threats, harassment, and public humiliation.

    Since the 1950’s, homosexuals have taken to the streets to protest and march for equality. Our fears weren’t based on the idea that our names might be published on the internet. Our fears were that we might lose our jobs, be disowned by our families, that we might be beaten or killed…and unfortunately many gays did suffer those consequences, but still we came out in greater and greater numbers. We stood in the sunshine and advocated for our cause in hostile and dangerous times.

    Our opponents are too scared to do the same. And they call us sissies?

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