THIS JUST IN… Sup Ct rules names of people who signed petitions in an attempt to overturn a new gay rights law in Washington must be made public

Goods news. Fundies are gonna be pissed. Implications for CA and beyond.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the names of people who signed petitions in an attempt to overturn a new gay rights law in Washington must be made public, a victory for state officials who said the case was a test of open government laws.

Justices ruled 8-1 in a case called Doe V. Reed. Only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented.

They heard oral arguments in Washington, D.C., April 28.

The conservative group that tried to block release of the signatures wanted the nation’s high court to uphold a lower court ruling that said signing petitions and referendum is constitutionally protected political speech – which by law is OK to engage in anonymously.

The group, Protect Marriage Washington, asked justices to shield the names of the 138,000 people who signed Referendum 71 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.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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