On October 19, 2009, US Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary order [PDF] that blocked the release of names on a petition advocating a repeal referendum on a Washington state gay rights law. The entire Court upheld [PDF] Kennedy's injunction later on the same day. The Washington law, referred to popularly as the "everything but marriage law," was passed in April 2009 and afforded same-sex domestic partners nearly identical rights as heterosexual married couples. Supporters of the referendum petition claimed that releasing the names, as ordered [PDF] by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, would stifle signers' First Amendment rights and leave them vulnerable to persecution. The state of Washington has steadily advanced gay rights since 2006 by expanding protections against discrimination and legalizing domestic partnerships.
Learn more about the laws governing same-sex marriage from the JURIST news archive.