This story is the reason I absolutely hate the California ballot initiative process. There are no filters, and nothing to prevent ugly, hateful measures like this one.
The proposal -- unlikely to advance, as it requires over 360,000 signatures to proceed -- was submitted by lawyer Matthew McLaughlin to the California Attorney General's office late last month.
The "Sodomite Suppression Act" ballot proposes that gay people "be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."
Under the normal procedure, Attorney General Kamala Harris would have to issue a title and summary for the initiative so proponents can gather signatures. Instead, she's going to court to have it declared unconstitutional in advance.
“As Attorney General of California, 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. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the "Sodomite Suppression Act." If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”
Here is the language of the measure, which is just pure hate on a piece of paper:
"The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.
"Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us... the people of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method," it reads.
It was written by Huntington Beach attorney Matthew McLaughlin, who was either trolling the state or is one of the most disgusting homophobes to walk the planet.
LA Times reports:
Although considered an incredible long-shot to pass even if it ended up on a ballot, McLaughlin's move tests the limits of the state's normally liberal attitude toward placing even the most extreme ideas on a ballot if enough signatures are collected, experts say.
For a fee of $200, McLaughlin submitted the act to the state attorney general's office, which must then give it a ballot-worthy name, summarize its effects and set the clock running for gathering signatures.
It's an unserious effort which has no place on any ballot in any state, but especially not here in California.
Two lawmakers said they were so revolted by McLaughlin's proposed initiative that they have proposed a bill that would increase the fee for filing a ballot measure from $200 to $8,000.
"We live in California, the cradle of direct democracy, but we also need a threshold for reasonableness," said Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), who co-authored the legislation with Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica).
But to get on the ballot, McLaughlin and any supporters would have to collect more than 365,000 signatures in 180 days, a high bar even for well-financed efforts.
"In California, this has the same chance as a snowball's chance in hell," said Jaime Regalado, professor emeritus of political science at Cal State L.A.
Maybe, but that wouldn't stop lunatics hired by McLaughlin from hanging out at local shopping centers and grocery stores ready to spread a little hate with people's shopping lists.
This is not a joke. The initiative process isincredibly screwed up and needs to change. Perhaps California should consider a petition site like the White House has and if a threshold is met, then lawmakers would have an obligation to take up the issue and debate it or something. But this business of writing hate, paying a $200 fee and forcing the taxpayers to treat this seriously has to stop.