Saturday, September 12, 2009

Washington Judge Blocks Release of Referendum 71 Petition Signees

From coast to coast now the fight for marriage equality is on. One particular hotspot in the battle is washington where recent legislation was passed offering comprehensive domestic partner benefits...... The "everything but marriage" bill was seen as a positive sign that marriage equality was baby stepping ahead, one bill at a time. That is...until the same folks that backed proposition 8 in California took there fight national and among the states in their crosshairs is Washington. They recently backed an effort to have the "everything but marriage" bill put on washingtons ballot in an effort to get the voters of Washington State to repeal it.

What?!! Can we find no rest in the legistlative process?!! I guess not. Opponents to gay civil liberties have made it clear to the writer that they will not stop pushing for the repeal of all the laws that protect the civil liberties of gay and lesbian citizens....but I digress...

The most recent development in on Washington front is the decision of U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle to continue shielding the Identies of all who signed the referendum 71 petition until a related case on the constitutionality of Washingtons State Public Records act is decided. How convenient.

Settle said he was “not persuaded that waiver of one’s fundamental right to anonymous political speach is a prerequisite for participation in Washington’s referendum process.”......Um o.k....That might be great at the voting box where we have a right not to be harrased in the act of expressing our civic duty but dont we have a right to address those who are in the act of placing that question before us to vote on?

So we can put anything we want up for a vote by petition and have no right to know what individuals or better yet...organizations are behind that act? That doesnt sound reasonable to me even with a related case on the docket.

I think we can see a knee jerk reaction here to what happened here in California during Proposition 8, where business owners and individual citizens who supported the ammendment had their names posted on the internet. I can almost see the wheels turning in peoples minds ...."Please don't let that happen here!"

However, if its that important to you to put your name on that document in support of repealing the civil liberties of other Americans shouldn't you have the guts and chutzpah to own up to it? The individuals in California who had there names posted on expressed shock and surprise that this happened to them and complained about how it affected their business. They took a political action in a public arena...and an action that directly affects the live and liberties of other americans...should they have been shocked? I don't think so...I don't think its fair to be for denying me my civil liberties but not o.k. with letting me choose to not patronize your business, or at least let me know who my opponent is. That doesn't sound like the actions of people who believe in the rightness of what they are doing.

So the moral of this windy tale is that if you don't wan't your business to suffer because of your politicall views or don't feel like having your name beamed across the internet, don't contribute to campaigns in the name of your business and dont sign documents that the public has a right to see. And yes...that goes for me too.

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