A federal judge on Thursday ordered the state of Washington to keep shielding the identities of people who signed petitions to force a vote on expanded benefits for gay couples.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma granted the preliminary injunction involving petitions for Referendum 71 while a related case moves forward on the constitutionality of the state public records act.
The referendum, sponsored by a group called Protect Marriage Washington, asks voters to approve or reject the "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law that state lawmakers passed earlier this year.
In his ruling, Settle said he was "not persuaded that waiver of one's fundamental right to anonymous political speech is a prerequisite for participation in Washington's referendum process."
The legal battle to keep the referendum off the Nov. 3 ballot ended Wednesday when supporters of expanded rights for domestic partners said they wouldn't appeal a Thurston County Superior Court judge's refusal to block the vote.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.