Last week, Matt McLaughlin, a lawyer from Huntington Beach, California, filed the Sodomite Suppression Act, The Guardian reported. The ballot initiative calls for “the execution of California residents on the basis of their sexuality.” If McLaughlin can collect the required 365,880 signatures, the proposal would be on the ballot in 2016.
State attorney general Kamala Harris said yesterday that, while she was required to write the title and summary for the act, she would be asking for a judge to block it.
Harris told The Guardian,
“It is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society.”
While getting the act on the ballot is “an expensive long shot that could cost upwards of $1 million,” it has outraged members of the LGBT community, supporters, activists, and politicians.
“This initiative is ridiculous and if it were to appear on the ballot, California voters would undoubtedly reject it,” said assembly member and member of the LGBT Legislative Caucus Susan Eggman. “However, LGBT people continue to be the targets of violence, here and around the world, and we have a responsibility to fight calls for more violence directed against them, whatever their form.”
It’s likely that Harris would succeed in convincing a judge to throw out the act as it is violent and unconstitutional. One clause says that “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification can be put to death by bullets to the head, or by any other convenient method.”
In the past, however, California judges have tried to stay out of the initiative process, waiting until the initiative becomes law before stepping in, according to Loyola law school professor Jessica Levinson.
But, calling the Sodomite Suppression Act unconstitutional, Levinson added, “If there is ever a case where a judge would throw something out, this is it.”
Hopefully Harris will have no trouble getting this initiative blocked. It is just a sad attempt by a homophobic lawyer to spew his hate across California.