Bellingham blogger’s words incite call to keep identity of referendum donors secret

  • Jerry Cornfield
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:13pm
  • Local News

Organizers of the Referendum 71 campaign want names of its donors shielded from public view in response to comments on a blog Aug. 3 by a Bellingham man

On Aug. 6, Everett Attorney Stephen Pidgeon requested the state Public Disclosure Commission hold an emergency hearing to consider modifying or suspending the requirement for contributors’ identities to be made public and posted online.

Protect Marriage Washington, the Arlington-based group pushing to get the referendum on the ballot, released the request Monday.

(Referendum 71 aims to repeal a new law granting same-sex couples the same rights under state law as married couples with the exception of getting married.)

In making the request, Pidgeon wrote:

“The reason for the emergency request is because of recent threats levied by opponents to the measure against the lives and property of principals involved in this Referendum at any level.”

Pidgeon includes an excerpt of a posting on Queer Equality Revolution, a blog run by John Bisceglia of Bellingham

It reads:

I advocate using violence against the property of ALL of those who are working tirelessly to HURT my family; starting with churches and government property. Government is enabling a vote on whether or not I “should be allowed” to see my husband [sic] while he is dying in the hospital – any NORMAL man would be driven to get a gun and kill those who tried such evil cruelty against his loved ones.

Go here to read the entire post and ensuing comments.

Bisceglia is well-known to those behind Referendum 71. Protect Marriage Washington Larry Stickney of Arlington asked the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department to examine comments on the blog that he considered to be a threat against him and his family.

Because of Bisceglia’s residence, Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick forwarded the online postings to Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo who said there was an investigation but no charges have been filed.

Bisceglia’s writings are among documents filed in a separate case aimed at keeping secret the names and addresses of those who signed the referendum petitions. A federal judge has barred the state from releasing those names at least until a Sept. 3 hearing.

Meanwhile, state election workers continue today trying to determine if there are enough valid voter signatures to qualify the referendum for the ballot.

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