Coming on the heels of Monday’s ruling by a federal district judge in Washington that the names and signatures of the Referendum 71 petition that asked voters to approve or reject a domestic partnership law approved by lawmakers and signed by the state’s Democratic governor must be released after years of court battles.
U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr in Sacramento on Thursday ruled against that ProtectMarriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage, must also release the petition signatories the and the identities of campaign donors.
California law requires the disclosure of the identity of anyone who contributes $100 or more to a campaign. ProtectMarriage.com said the $100 limit was too low,and that the donors would remain exposed to harassment “so long as these names are perpetually kept on the state’s website.”
PtotectMarriage.com also claimed it qualified for an exception to disclosure laws once granted by the U.S. Supreme Court to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Socialist Workers Party.
Judge England was skeptical throughout the hearing. The Socialist Workers Party involved relatively few people, he said, and belonging to the NAACP in the early 1950s “could cause you to be killed.” In contrast, he said, Proposition 8 proponents not only enjoyed the support of millions of people, but prevailed in the election.
The judge read from a batch of declarations in which people claimed yard signs were stolen, that they received harassing phone calls, or, in one case, that people protested outside someone’s business. “That’s the extent of what happened,” he said.
Mollie Lee, a San Francisco deputy city attorney, said La Rue presented no evidence of death threats or physical violence. More minor incidents, she said, are “not out of the ordinary in California politics.”
Judge England agreed.
Look for Brian Brown (shirts) of NOM’s whining press release to come shortly.