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When people sign petitions attempting to promote a certain action of government, they almost always include not just their name, but address, phone number, and other important contact information. That's just the way it works.
So why is a federal court in Washington being asked to redact (keep private) the names of signatories to a very significant petition that was presented to the state government? Because of the death threats coming to those who signed the petition from those who oppose it.
But before you think this is proof of how violence-prone those radical right-wingers are, and how the Department of Homeland Security needs to crack down on the tea parties who are taking their political opposition too far, take a closer look at who is trampling the First Amendment:
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."
Among the documented threats:
"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."
Hmmm. This doesn't sound much like tolerance. But that can't be right. These are the people who have been subjected to such discrimination that they are tireless defenders of tolerance for all, right?
They are the modern day equivalent to the Doctor Kings of the past, right? Peaceful resistance until the objectives are met, right? Prayer on public streets...oh wait, never mind the praying thing...but at least they gather on those streets, right? In peace and simply wanting the chance to love. So something isn't adding up here. Let's look again:
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."
If only Christians who believe in traditional morality could learn from these tolerant folks about how to treat those they disagree with.