The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it's OK for Secretary of State Sam Reed to give out the names and addresses of people who signed petitions to put Referendum 71 on the state ballot

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it’s OK for Secretary of State Sam Reed to give out the names and addresses of people who signed petitions to put Referendum 71 on the state ballot. Reed can’t do it, because there is a restraining order from the U.S. Supreme Court. I’m guessing the courts will ultimately let him do it. That may be good law, but it’s not good policy.

All this came about because R-71 was promoted by the opponents of gay marriage. Their referendum petition outraged the supporters, particularly gay activists, who thought they had gay marriage in the bag. A couple of these (Knowthyneighbor.org and whosigned.org) threatened to get the names of the signatories and post them. This was a clear threat that people who signed the petitions would be harassed by their neighbors. It was made during the signature campaign, and it was quite clearly a device to intimidate people from signing, and keep the measure off the ballot. (And it almost worked.)