Earlier this month we told you about the "Sodomite Suppression Act," the disgusting proposed ballot initiative in California calling for gays to be "put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
The initiative is the work of attorney Matthew McLaughlin, who paid the $200 fee and submitted his proposal to the attorney general's office. The Los Angeles Times reports that due to California's loose rules for ballot initiatives, officials are virtually powerless to stop the measure from proceeding to the signature-gathering process.
In order to qualify for the ballot, the initiative would need 365,000 signatures in 180 days, which The LA Times calls "a high bar even for well-financed efforts." And even if McLaughlin's initiative were to qualify for the ballot and be approved by voters, courts would almost certainly strike it down as unconstitutional.
From The LA Times:
McLaughlin's proposal calls same-sex intimacy "a monstrous evil" and says it would be better for gay people to die than for Californians to "be killed by God's just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating wickedness in our midst."
It also would make the spreading of "sodomistic propaganda" punishable by a $1-million fine, 10 years in jail or deportation from the state. And it would ban gay people from holding public office.
The Sodomite Suppression Act has sparked debate about whether California should reform its initiative process, and one bill in the Legislature would increase the filing fee from $200 to $8,000.
The Sodomite Suppression Act has also now drawn a response from activist Charlotte Laws, who planned to file her own ballot initiative Monday called "The Intolerant Jackass Act," according to Slate. The Intolerant Jackass Act would require anyone who proposes a ballot initiative calling for gay people to be killed to attend one year of sensitivity training and donate $5,000 to a pro-LGBT group. From Slate:
I spoke to Laws about her initiative—which, she readily acknowledges, is not necessarily designed to become law.
“I’m fighting fire with fire,” she told me. “The only way to counter [the Sodomite Suppression Act] is … to let people know that most people in California don’t agree with something as incendiary and hateful as what this one attorney proposed.” Laws recognizes the merit of having a content-neutral initiative system, but she believes “we have a very open-minded state and country. This is one guy, and there are millions of us who do not agree with this.”
In addition to Laws' initiative, the Sodomy Suppression Act has inspired a Change.org petition calling for McLaughlin, who is apparently in hiding, to be disbarred. The petition, which has more than 20,000 signatures, accuses McLaughlin of "moral turpitude" and calls him "a disgrace to the practice of law."
We'd say that's an understatement.