So there's a group in Washington State called WhoSigned.org that states it will publish the names, zip codes, and possibly addresses of everyone who signed petitions in favor of Referendum 71, an anti-gay-marriage initiative currently gathering signatures. Now I'm as pro-gay-marriage as I can be without actually marrying a girl, but this is creepy bullshit.
Petition signatures are public record in this state, and people should stand behind their beliefs. But publishing the names of people who didn't expect that when they signed is a screwjob, and threatening to publish names when the referendum doesn't yet have its quota is flat-out intimidation. It's also eerily reminiscent of what only the creepiest opponents of abortion do. Saying "we don't have to be nice because this cause is just so clear-cut and important" is scary no matter what the cause is.
I think what bothers me most is how little this has to do with gay rights. This tactic would work with any controversial and emotional issue. It's low, it's mean, and it doesn't make anyone look good.
This is a whole lot less "Gays: they deserve to have normal families" and a lot more "Gays: if you piss them off, they'll tell everyone where your kids go to school." And if you look beyond the individual referendum to the future of gay rights in this state, or to actually changing people's minds, that's not a strategy with much persuasive power.
By the by... Whosigned.org is being run by Brian Murphy, who lives at **21 BROADWAY E and has a home phone number of 206-***-6738, and I put those *'s in because I'm not an asshole and I wouldn't want him to be harassed or anything.