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In appealing to Kennedy to intervene, Protect Marriage Washington argued that state officials had suddenly changed a long-standing practice of keeping confidential the identities of those who signed referendum petitions. The group said signers of the petition fear hostile confrontations from gay rights supporters and noted that their campaign manager had received death threats.

James Bopp Jr., a lawyer who represents the group, said releasing the names of those who signed the petition would make the group's appeal of the 9th Circuit ruling moot.

Janelle Guthrie, a spokeswoman for Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, said state officials were merely defending the state's public records law.

The attorney general's office argued in court that there's little evidence of threats or harassment amounting to more than a few rude phone calls.

Kennedy has asked state officials to file a written response in the case Monday.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/19/referendum-71-us-supreme-_n_326316.html

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