State releases Referendum 71 petition names

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- State officials are releasing copies of petitions that forced a vote on a 2009 domestic partnership law.

The Washington State Archives provided a DVD to The Associated Press on Monday showing the 138,000 signatures for Referendum 71. The disclosure came just a few hours after a federal judge ruled that the signers are unlikely to face harassment.

Opponents of the law that expanded gay partnership rights managed to get enough signatures in 2009 to force a vote on the issue. They had pushed in court to keep the names of petition supporters private, arguing that it was a contentious issue and that people could be threatened.

An attorney for the group plans to appeal the decision.