Supreme Court justice blocks names in gay rights ballot measure

Justice Anthony M. KennedyIn a flurry of legal activity today, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy essentially reimposed a ban on release of the names of those who signed Washington state‘s Referendum 71 petitions.

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an injunction against release of the names be stayed thus allowing the state to distribute the information. But Kennedy’s ruling lifts that stay, though for how long is uncertain.

Reportedly, the state’s Attorney General’s Office has filed documents asking Kennedy to reconsider his decision.

The petitions are considered public records under state law. But R-71’s sponsors say the petition-signers could be harassed, amounting to an infringement on their free speech rights.

Referendum 71 asks voters to approve or reject the so-called “everything but marriage” law, which grants registered domestic partners the same legal rights as married heterosexuals.

More on the story from AP.

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