Citizens of Washington state obtained the necessary petition signatures for a referendum on the state’s domestic partnership law which extended the state’s marriage law to same sex couples. Gay rights groups sought public release of the petitions, openly stating their intention to post the names, addresses, phone numbers, and employers of the signers on the Internet, and encouraging gay rights advocates to have “uncomfortable conversations” with them. In California, this resulted in death threats, hate mail, vandalism, and violence against the petition signers, including protests that caused some to lose their jobs. Protect Marriage Washington obtained an injunction against release of the petitions, but the Ninth Circuit reversed. On the appeal to the United States Supreme Court, on March 4, 2010, the ACRU filed a brief arguing for an injunction to protect the right of petition signers to free speech and political participation without harassment, intimidation, and violence.
Read the Brief