Who signed the Act 1 petition last fall? There’s a list, y’know?

Back in October, Initiative Act No. 1 was a pretty heated topic. It was the measure that prohibits adoption or fostering a child by unmarried people who live together in Arkansas.

The measure was approved by voters and although there’s no way to see who actually voted for it, the names of the 84,000 Arkansas residents who signed the petition to put Act 1 on last year’s ballot are now available for public viewing online. But that’s not all. Anyone who signed it will also find that their addresses and an image of their signature from the day they signed is also available in a permanent, searchable database compiled by a Massachusetts gay rights group, KnowThyNeighbor.org.

The Pro-Gay Advocacy Group is most famous for releasing the name of signers of anti-gay petitions in Massachusetts in 2005 and later in Florida. Yesterday, they turned that attention to Arkansas in what the group is calling a strategy to “generate the dialogue between both sides of this issue.”

“These petition signers need to stand behind their signatures and be responsible for this dehumanizing attack on the gay community,” said Tom Lang, the organization’s director. “It’s disgraceful that they have chosen to exercise their prejudice at the expense of children who are now being denied access to loving adoptive and foster parents. Such activity must be challenged and cannot be allowed to pass under the cover of darkness.”

By law, this data is freely available to the public but until now, you’d have to actually go down to the secretary of state’s office and request to see it. Now that it’s all online, finding a particular name or list of names is a lot easier. Besides being searchable, the database can be filtered by Last Name, First Name, Address, City, Zip and County.

Need proof? Here’s a list of the nearly 1500 people who signed the petition in Fayetteville.