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November 2, 2009

Privacy-in-petitioning debate overshadows Washington state vote on domestic partnership

The New York Times reports:

On Tuesday, voters in Washington State will decide whether to extend to registered domestic partners the same rights married couples have, short of marriage. But the campaign over the referendum, placed on the ballot by opponents of same-sex marriage, has been overshadowed by one issue: whether the individual names of the petitioners should be made public, and ultimately, circulated on the Web.

Story quotes UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, among others.


November 2, 2009 | Permalink


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I was astonished that the article didn't discuss the history of this issue for the civil rights movement and the associational privacy rights that the Supreme Court ensconced in the 1950s and 1960s when the NAACP was forced by states like Arkansas or Alabama to produce membership records and McCarthy-era laws sought to smoke out potential communists by publicly disclosing the names of those who supported potentially "socialist" reforms. And then there's the irony of the lgbt community strategically using shame to advance our causes. Just posted something on our blog about it: http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/genderandsexualitylawblog/

Posted by: Katherine Franke | Nov 2, 2009 9:43:31 AM

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