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Originally published Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Judge won't halt release of Ref. 71 petitions

U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Tuesday rejected a motion by Protect Marriage Washington to block public release of Referendum 71 petitions while they appeal an earlier ruling by him that the public is entitled to the records.

quotes If you want to legislate in secret, find a soviet state somewhere. This is America... Read more
quotes Get back to making this list publicly available again, as is the constitutional thing... Read more
quotes Of course. Delay, Delay, Delay. The longer that the Protect Marriage out of state... Read more

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U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on Tuesday rejected a motion by Protect Marriage Washington to block public release of Referendum 71 petitions while they appeal an earlier ruling by him that the public is entitled to the records.

Settle had ruled in October that Protect Marriage Washington had provided no compelling evidence of threats or harassment against petition signers and was not entitled to exemption from the state's Public Records Act.

Ref. 71 was a failed attempt by Protect Marriage two years ago to repeal the expansion of Washington's domestic-partnership law. Voters retained the law by a 53 to 47 percent vote.

His ruling does not, however, mean the petitions will be available soon, according to the Secretary of State's Office, noting that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previously said it would give Protect Marriage Washington five days after Settle's latest ruling to file an emergency motion for nondisclosure while the appeal is under way. That is expected in a day or two.

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