State lawyers will travel to California to argue that petitions for Referendum 71 should be made public.

OLYMPIA — State lawyers will travel to California to argue that petitions for Referendum 71 should be made public.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Attorney General Rob McKenna’s request for a fast-track appeal. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14 in Pasadena, Calif.

R-71 asks voters to either approve or reject a new law expanding domestic partnerships for gay couples.

The referendum’s conservative sponsors want to keep their signed petitions out of public view, because they fear harassment from gay-rights supporters.

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A federal judge in Tacoma granted the sponsors’ request earlier this month. But McKenna is appealing, citing the state’s open-government laws.