News Sep 17, 2009 at 4:00 am

Why the State Must Fight to Release the Names of the Signers of R-71


"There was some property damage, broken windows, a bumper sticker was torn off," Pharris says. "Most of it, however, was much milder stuff. People saying that 'people didn't speak to me.'" The argument against releasing the petitions boiled down to "my neighbors might... glare at me over the fence."

This is the money shot right here.

They're afraid to have the conversation, they're afraid to talk about it, they're afraid to be told they're wrong. Secret manipulations, money laundering, pandering to the darker side of human nature and hatred are all part of the game they play to make sure they keep tensions high and the people of Washington State fooled so they can continue to milk the fringe and keep this cotton industry of almost corporate bigotry alive.

They don't want to be seen discussing this with gay people because that makes us human. Their stomach goes into knots at the thought of having to sit across the table from someone whose only crime is falling in love.

Dan Swecker, Gary Randall, Larry Stickney, Matt Shea and Val Stevens are all free to come have dinner with my future husband and I here in Seattle. They want to have the conversation, right? How about meeting some of the people they're working against. Me and my menacing... chococat tattoo. Him with his angry and hateful... kitty. Oh, and our thrice-weekly feverish anti-christian ritual of... date night?

I can tell them all about how we work to undo the foundations of society by wanting to form a household. Then I can go on and tell them how we've never fought or argued or raised our voices at each other in 2 years. Then I can tell them how we're not just fighting for us, we're fighting for all our friends, we're fighting for all couples, gay and straight and of all religions and races, because when you pick out one couple, you can pick out any couple.

Then they can explain, to my face, why they think our love is any less valid than theirs. Then they can say why, exactly, we shouldn't form a household. Then they can go on and explain other minor things, like why it's fiscally prudent to diminish the spending power of certain couples in a recession or why they would set a precedent that literally says one group is not a valid family when that's what we're forming.

And then they can tell us how my future husband and I, and his giant kitty, destroy their own family.

I'm sure they'd be eager to tell us right to our faces. Dominic, if any of the folks I listed e-mail you about it, tell me. I'd really like to meet these folks.
"why it's fiscally prudent to diminish the spending power of certain couples in a recession." haven't heard this one. what kind of batshit crazy logic is this?
Baconcat wins, again, and it's all the better he got first post.
My name's on it, in case that makes you feel any better.
Hey you all - the fed judge issued a ruling based on his own constitutional review under the First Amendment, the most protected of all, political free speech.

It really is not about a whole lot more at this point. A smart decision launched a whole new discussion, petition signors are just a track in the forest, we are not going to a much bigger judical question.

Will it stand? Ask the US Supremes, cause that is where it is headed.... years from now.
The irony of the whole thing is beating me over the head; I'd be more willing to simply ignore them if they didn't act like a threatened minority who required protection. Now I'm good and mad. Playing the discrimination card is low even for someone opposed to people being in love simply over the arrangement of their sexual parts.
Wait. Let’s take the politics out of this and look at it for what it is. Group C wants to exercise it’s constitutional rights and gather enough signatures in 90 days to let the public choose by a Yes/No vote in the following November if legislation L will be the law of the land.

Group G who supported legislation L is outraged that Group C even has any right to gather signatures whatsoever and openly THREATENS members of Group C in the media in order to intimidate people into not signing the Group C referendum.

Since Group G has been so openly hostel, Group C successfully gets a temporary restraining order preventing the names of the signers from being released thwarting Group G’s efforts of intimidating people into not signing the referendum.

What is the problem? If Group G would not have been so openly hostel, the judge would not have granted the order. Group G is the author of it’s own dilemma.


All the referendum did was give the voters the final say on legislation L. Group C got the required signatures and now it is up to the voters.

Now Group G is crying foul with crocodile tears “Give us the names (sob) give us the names (sniff)”.

My bet is after the election, the names will be released and the restraining order over turned. The issue will be studied by legal eagles for years and a small minority in Group G will still put the names of the signers on the Web just for spite.

It will never make it to the US Supremes and shouldn’t.

Despite the tears, both Group G and Group C rights were preserved and nobody got hurt. The ultimate group in charge, the people, got to vote on the issue.

Case closed, at least until next year…

Interesting recap. But, it will go to the US Supreme Court. Will it get a hearing? Stay tuned.

Between now and then are many, many steps. Both sides have ample funded legal resources that exist to play in this sand box - so - why not?

In the background is the newly minted pr theme that the christian religion in America has become a group deprived of fair hearings in public policy and beaten back by the godless secular society.

Just read some of their recent blathers about how badly they are treated.

They did not file this just as a one time strategy in little old Washington state. They loose, they will appeal. I guess it comes down to a theory that THEY need the protection of the state...what a twist.

There is another theme of this era, not mentioned out front. Privacy, the unending loss of, and all the worries attuned to that giant issue. As a modern high tech culture, society, our privacy is vanishing rapidly. We all know that. I think that fear, all privacy in every matter, gone, plays in the background here as well.

So, yes, stay tuned for the long haul.

there are gay haters and cat haters ... and just plain no good reason haters. I think about 30 percent of the population you really don't want to chit chat with.

you do come from an evangelical background ... don't you?

the next generations will not even care who you love ... and Val Stevens and all the rest of the cottage industry bigots will long be in their graves.

take heart.

Ben Settle, a recent Bush appointee, is a redneck conservative from Shelton. Fucking Republican scum.

This boils down to accountability. Beyond the public records issue, the folks who signed R71 voted in the same way that our electeds do on any bill. The petition records their "votes".

We will have the names eventually and I for one will be more than interested in pursuing appropriate accountability (e.g., public shaming, economic retaliation, etc.) with each and every signer I can identify.

No quarter for bigots in Washington!
In #10 (Zotz) style...

Anthony Van Jones, a recently terminated CZAR from the Obama administration, is a card carrying communist which means he is human debris and should be deported to Cuba.

If you don’t politically agree with #10, she will hunt you down and make sure you are properly punished (e.g., public shaming, economic retaliation, etc.) for having a different opinion.

Trying to intimidate someone into signing or not signing voting or not voting against his or her will is mistermeanier in Washington State. #10 has the right of freedom of speech, but people don’t have to listen or even hear what she has to say.

#10 and dill weeds like her were the ones that caused the restraining order in the first place.

I wonder if #10 got this idea from the Gay activist that botched the campaign in California, or did she translate it directly from the German guide on how to tamper with voters (circa 1935).

No quarter for NAZI behavior in elections in Washington!

@11: Do you even know anything about what the Nazi party did and how they obtained power? They acted in secret and used citizen sentiment to force the Reichstag to draft the Enabling Act. They barred the Social Democrats from participating, called objection to the act "anti-christian" and manipulated citizen sentiment to ensure its passage by saying not passing the Enabling Act would lead to liberals, communists and jews burning down the businesses of christians and nationalists, among other things.

They withdrew the plebiscite from the Enabling Act only after they were able to jail the liberal elements of the government and discovered that general sentiment favored maintaining the current Reichstag and withdrawing unitary power from the Chancellor. They were afraid that the people would support equality and freedom for all peoples in Germany, but at the onset were wholly prepared to force a public vote, feeling "german and christian ideals" (a common theme in Nazi literature) would cause the Enabling Act to pass. But as I said, enough Germans seemed poised to maintain equality in Germany.

The Enabling Act was passed after the SA and pro-Nazi/heavily rightist mobs surrounded the Reichstag, and then Hitler made a pact with the Catholic Church and nationalized religion in Germany. All things prurient and immoral were deemed illegal thereafter (gay socialization, burlesque, etc.), the religious right gained control of the popular vote (after a few thousand choice murders, of course), and then millions died.

Your comparisons are appropriately dense and misguided. The only group taking a page from Mein Kampf right now is Protect Marriage Washington.
Baconcat, the Anti-Ref 71 crowd were the ones that employed intimidation / thug tactics and from reading your earlier postings indicates you are too close to the issue to be objective.

Besides, what makes the difference to you? The same definition of Husband and Wife has been on the books for 120 years in Washington State.
To all the shit house lawyers - tomorrow am while taking a crap in the out house - think of this.

The issues in the suit have moved beyond the locus you all are still ranting about.

Where ever this judge was born, who ever filed the suit, it now is a tome on the existence of a private right of political speech contained in the act of signing a petition?

And, that will be the debate.

To the poster who suggests that signing a petition is a vote - don't be so stupid. Many signers will sign to send it to the people, having NO opinion at that moment. Go out in the streets and gather sigs. one of these times, that is true. And the judge opined on that theme in his order.

I think a circuit panel will affirm the temp order, and suggest trial on the merits., which will be in a year or so. No emergency to see names, as the election is certified and scheduled.
#14 Don't forget to flush...
#4 and #14, Your bigotry is showing. I would love to be able to vote on your rights and keep my dirty little secret quiet too.
@13: Where in all the old RCWs I have at my disposal will I find marriage defined as one man and one woman in the name of tradition? The only reference to "one man one woman" marriage comes to us circa 1998 after DOMA.

State governments are not in the business of affirming any tradition, they're in the business of ensuring all citizens are taken care of and that all voters of sound mind and legal capability are able to enter into legal bonds of mutual or community significance, be it a business or a marriage. Although marriage is losing significance (marriage rates in WA state are down with less than 47% of straight couples getting married, a steep drop since the late 90s), it's still important to understand that the fundamental rights granted by such a covenant are blind to anything but the capacity of people to enter into one. Basically, the only real standing rule is that if you don't have existing rights by blood and are of legal age and mental capacity, then you're able to enter into a marriage. The rest is a fabrication based on ideals rather than any practical biological or social rationale.

Given the decline of the desire to marry, why tell folks who really REALLY want to get married they can't? At this rate, we'll see so few people married in this country that the religious right will basically be left staring at an almost empty wedding calendar.

Moreover, your strawman of "intimidation" doesn't stand when compared to reams of evidence to the contrary, especially with the recent spate of hate crimes in the pacific northwest and increasingly more violent rhetoric from anti-family/anti-equality activists.
I think the Seattle equal rights supporters should all get together and sign a petition that denies marriage to straight people. I'm sure the poor threatened gay bashers will completely support our doing this and won't be at all concerned or suspicious when we refuse to release any of the signature names to the public.
Geez #17 read the R-71 legislation… Passed Legislature/5688-S2.PL.pdf.

A good chunk of it is nothing but legal-ease printing all the sections in the RCW where the definition of husband and wife comes into play. Your bias is showing missy. You are a better at research than this. I bet you also know that the Anti-R71 crowd were the thugs in this situation but you are in serious denial or are being dishonest in an honest debate.

FYI: #18 One is not a “gay basher” if one disagrees with legislation. Yours is a debate tactic generally employed by folks who have a very week argument. This statement is almost as pathetic as trying to pass legislation to illegalize heterosexual -marriage.

The folks wasting their time and energy with this gotcha legislation, remember this for future reference.

Heterosexuals can survive and thrive very well and have been doing so since the dawn of time without homosexuals.

Homosexuals on the other hand cannot survive more than a generation without heterosexuals. Until another method reproduction is invented, this is an indisputable truth.

The only compelling reason the signatures can be kept secret is if there is a clear and present danger of bodily harm to one or more of the signatories who are specifically targeted by name.
@19: "Until another method reproduction is invented, this is an indisputable truth."

If you'd have bothered leaving your house some time in the last thirty years, you'd have found out that they already invented in vitro fertilization over three decades ago.

But keep on yelling at other people to get their research right; it's pretty funny.
It seems to me that if this case manages to establish the secret petition, anyone able to reproduce information that is easily obtainable, that can pass a cursory inspection can put anything on the ballot.

It's not like a petition requires anything that isn't already on a check or with a credit card reciept if they check your ID.

I imagine it wouldn't take more than a couple Walmart's worth of tranactions.
@1 &@12: GO, BACONCAT,GO!!!!!!!
It think its pretty damn rich for the same people that touted themselves as the "Moral Majority" for so many years and proudly proclaim how most of American is Christian and in agreement with them on hating gays, suddenly becomes a minority to suit their purpose.

Yeah. Right. Obviously the religious right are just illustrating that they have no idea if they represent a majority of a population or not, they'll just call themselves "majority" or "minority" whenever it suits their purpose.

#19. You obviously know nothing of modern reproduction do you? And frankly what does it matter if anyone homosexual or heterosexual reproduces or not? Show me the relevance of your argument. For one thing, homosexuality it not a modern invention--it has been around forever. It crops up in almost every population and whether or not they reproduce has no bearing on whether they are "here tomorrow". Think of it--infertile women and sterile men have always been around too. We have no problems with letting them marry, either. And guess what? More infertile people still are born. Just like homosexuals. R-71 matters because their will always be people that fall in love with the same sex, just as infertile people curiously crop up all on their own. Reproduction doesn't have squat to do with it.
Marriage is a sacred, holy, event for the Catholic and Protestant churches, defined as a union between a man and a woman. We must respect their beliefs and not harass them, whether or not we agree with them. You can disagree but do so within the proper, respectful parameters which saddens me that Brian Murphy is taking to extremes. I admire his vigilance but the manner in which it is being delivered and threatened is inappropriate and disrespectful even to those who you do not agree with.

That is why the Attorney General and Secretary of State who happen to be Republicans, are able to look to the clear point of the matter. The openness of our local government. This is a wonderful right that we have. This right will then be misused if people are harassed because of this "open" information. The very same "open" government will be the same government who has to pursue those who misuse the "open" information. And they will be required to do so under the protection of free speech and civil rights as soon as the names are released, if the released information is used to harass people.

As far as benefits bestowed, NOT OWED, to one particular group, let's consider this: why not end special privileges for some and make everyone equal. Let's make single people just as important as "married" or those in a "same sex union"(which is a fair term to those who consider Marriage a sacrament) Let's truly be fair to all.
Two things about open signatures, and r-71.

(1) The signatures need to be open to public scrutiny because of possibility of fraud. This applies to ANY referendum/initiative petition;

(2) Those who are persecuting gays are representing themselves as victims when THEY are the victimizers. This is precisely like Adolph Hitler and international Jewry. We have to put them in ovens to protect ourselves, only with gays the "ovens" are self-inflicted deaths (suicide).

Conservatives SAY the are afraid that people will do to them what they do to gays on a daily basis. Gays are verbally and physically harassed and can't get jobs or get educations because of this harassment. But gays are supposed to put up with harassment without protection, and conservatives want that "unnecessary protection" for themselves.

Anyway, the conservatives are losing the civil-rights battle. When ENDA and Hate-crimes bills are passed, I'm going to send this information to an old teacher (in his 70s) who lives on Whidbey Island. When I was 13 he told me that I needed to see a psychiatrist because I was gay, or else I would kill myself. He then went around telling everybody that I was gay, trying to get me to commit suicide. This was AFTER the American Psychiatric Association said that homosexuality wasn’t an illness.

Marriage is a sacred and holy event to my church, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, regardless of whether the two people marrying are of opposite or the same sex. We already solemnize marriages in Canada, and in those states in which it is legal. If you people really cared about freedom of religion, you'd be supporting our right to practice our religion by joining Buddhist couples together as we see fit. Clearly, this is not about freedom of religion. This is about that icky feeling you get when you imagine what you think it is that gay men do together in bed.

Please wait...

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