Bob Unruh reports:
A federal court in Tacoma, Wash., has been asked to order that the names of signatories of a state petition seeking to protect traditional marriage be redacted to protect them from death threats from homosexual activists.
"What is becoming increasingly evident," said James Bopp of the James Madison Center, "is that some groups and individuals, certainly a minority, have resorted to advancing their cause, not by debating the merits of the issue but by discouraging participation in the democratic process itself.
"The First Amendment was designed to ensure that all groups, whatever their persuasion, could participate fully in our republic," he said. That breaks down when some groups or individuals are cowed into silence for fear that they or their families will be targeted or threatened if they speak up."
The issue is the some 138,000 Washington state residents who signed a petition in 2009 to repeal a law that gave same-sex partners all the legal rights of married couples. The petition forced a referendum vote in November of that year in which voters decided to sustain the law.
But because the state considers such petitions "public records," homosexual activists are demanding the names and addresses of the signers in order to post them on the Internet and "publicize on their web sites, in searchable format, the identities of every person who signed the … petition," according to a new filing seeking nondisclosure of the names.
The groups announcing the plans were KnowThyNeighbor.org and WhoSigned.org, according to the filing.
The filing on behalf of Protect Marriage Washington explains the real problem is the documentation of actual threats that have been made against those who support traditional marriage, a litany of what the Los Angeles Times described as a "vengeful campaign."
- "I will kill you and your family."
- "Oh my God, This woman is so f---ing stupid. Someone please shoot her in the head, again and again. And again."
- "I'm going to kill the pastor."
- "If I had a gun I would have gunned you down along with each and every other supporter…"
- "We're going to kill you."
- "You're dead. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon … you're dead."
- "I'm a gay guy who owns guns, and he's my next target."
- "I warn you, I know how to kill, I'm an ex-special forces person."
- "Get ready for retribution all you bigots."
- Burn their f---ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers."
The evidence included churches marred by graffiti, swastikas on lawns and walls, bricks thrown through windows and doors, adhesive poured into locks, suspicious packages of white powder sent in the mail – "all for nothing more than supporting traditional marriage."
"On two occasions, both in Washington state, a group called Bash Back! boldly accepted credit for vandalizing houses of worship, writing in one case, 'when we [graffitied your walls] and glued all the doors shut, we threw open our own doors and tattooed those words on hour (sic) hearts. Welcome to our world s---heads.'"
According to the filing, "When some activists could sense that intimidation was not working … they resorted to threatening the families – even the children – of supporters. In one case, the perpetrator threated to 'kill' the supporter's child and the whole family; in another, to 'harm' the supporter's family; and in another, to rape the supporters' daughter."
The reason for the demand for the names and addresses was made clear earlier, according to the filing.