LETTER TO THE EDITOR | 'Anti-gay group' was just exercising legal right
August 17, 2009 · Updated 11:19 AM
To the editor:
This is a factual response to the letter of Anthony Vicari, published in the July 25 South Whidbey Record.
The anti-gay hate “group” described by Vacari consisted of two individuals, not hateful, not confronting, just simply asking people if they’d like to sign Referendum 71, “Preserve Marriage — Protect Children” and offering actual statistics and historical information, not hate literature.
Vicari may be unaware that referendums and initiatives are legal documents with wording acceptable to the state attorney general and, if challenged, by superior court approval. Signature gatherers are afforded a legal right to work in places open to the public, such as on a sidewalk outside a business. Walmart complied with the law and remained neutral despite some threats similar to those Vacari expresses.
His letter implies that people must respect his diverse opinion, but he evidently lacks respect for people holding opinions diverse from his, as did some others who exhibited their diversity by cursing, making obscene gestures, spitting at and on the two signature-gatherers and advancing threats toward those who signed. I commend Vacari for exercising his right of free speech and choosing to shop where he pleases, just as I do.
Several hundred Walmart customers signed the Referendum 71 petition on that Sunday, July 19 and it appears that Washington voters, as California voters recently did, will exercise their right to decide the issue in November.