Privacy laws being invoked by opponents of same-sex marriage, giving them the right to be unseen and anonymous in court, is like a “drive-by assault” to gay rights activists. Despite gay marriage being made legal in the District of Columbia yesterday, elsewhere US lawmakers are still wrangling with vocal opposition. But what right do such opponents have to remain anonymous? asks Christopher Wolf, a privacy lawyer. “Twice, the [Supreme] court intervened in cases in which active opponents of gay marriage, in California and Washington, have claimed that their right to privacy will be invaded if they are not given legal protection to be unseen and anonymous. In the California case, the high court ruled to prevent the broadcast of videotaped trial testimony of the organizers of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. In the Washington case, which the court agreed to hear in full this year, the issue is whether the names on public petitions can be sealed… To those of us who strongly favor equal marriage rights — and who have a personal stake in them — providing cover to those who would keep those rights from us feels a little like a drive-by assault: We had a glance at the people attacking us, but now they are gone, not to be identified.”
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