A federal judge in Sacramento ruled Thursday that Proposition 8 supporters ProtectMarriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage are not entitled to block their campaign finance records from the public.
The two groups, who the Associated Press reports raised the majority of the $43.3 million spent to back the anti-same-sex marriage bill, alleged that their donors had been subjected to boycotts, hate mail, and threats after their identities were listed on the Secretary of State's website, which is standard practice with campaign finance reports.
In January 2009, the organizations filed a lawsuit asking to have the names removed. At the time of the suit, U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. denied requests that the information be temporarily taken down, saying campaign disclosure laws were necessary to protect the public, especially in initiative campaigns like Prop. 8.
On Thursday, England issued his ruling in the suit, saying the two groups had failed to prove that they should be exempted from standard disclosure laws.
"The winners here are really the voters of California," San Francisco Deputy City Attorney Mollie Lee said. "The First Amendment interest that the judge upheld in his ruling is the interest in having a robust democracy, an informed electorate and vigorous debate."
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