According to the Advocate Magazine, the Seattle Weekly has posted on the Internet a previously secret list of more than 100,000 people who signed a petition that tried to overturn domestic partnerships in Washington. After the contentious vote (which failed), the group that organized the petition, Protect Marriage Washington, tried to keep the petitioners’ names private, but a judge ruled earlier this month the names would have to become public.
This story reminds me of the hateful petitions that turned up in Massachusetts back in 2003 after the State Supreme Court ruled banning Same Sex marriage illegal and conservative groups started petitions to have gay marriage brought to the ballot. A local non-profit called Know Thy Neighbor started publishing the names of people who signed these petitions. Despite the best efforts of conservative groups to try and keep these names secret, every court sided with Know Thy Neighbor.
The morale of the story is, you are entitled to your opinion but your neighbor is also entitled to know because bigotry tends to shrivel and whither by the light of day. So I say cheers to the Washington State court that ruled these names could be made public.
Personal Note: The image above was taken outside the MA State house. I was there – not in the picture, but I was there and met that sick, demented man so I always like to post this photo because it reminds me of what hate looks like.