California ballot initiative proposes “bullets to the head” for gays, lesbians
Here’s a headline you’d expect to read in The Onion: a proposed ballot initiative in California would outlaw sodomy and punish offenders with “death by bullets to the head.”
On February 26, Orange County attorney Matthew McLaughlin paid his $200 filing fee and submitted the necessary paperwork to circulate the initiative, “The Sodomite Suppression Act.”
“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,” the proposed initiative reads.
In addition to the death penalty for gays and lesbians, McLaughlin wants to ban anyone “who espouses sodomistic propaganda” from holding public office, receiving government benefits or being employed by the state. Anyone caught disseminating “sodomistic propaganda” to minors would be fined “$1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.”
California’s Record Low Initiative Threshold
If there was ever a year for such an outrageous initiative to reach the ballot, 2016 is it. As CalNewsroom.com wrote in December, California’s record-low turnout in 2014 will lead to a record number of ballot measures in 2016.
The threshold for qualifying a ballot measure is 5 percent of the total votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election. Due to a record low turnout in last November’s election. that threshold is now just 365,880 valid signatures — the lowest number in 30 years.
Although there’s no real chance that the measure reaches the ballot, Attorney General Kamala Harris has no authority to prevent the initiative from reaching circulation. According to the California Secretary of State’s office, “Upon receipt of the fee and request, the Attorney General will prepare a circulating title and summary, which will be the official summary of the initiative measure.”
Proponent Matthew McLaughlin, Member of California State Bar
Is this just a big joke on the initiative process? Nope.
This isn’t McLaughlin’s first foray into the ballot measure game. Wonkette unearthed his 2004 effort to allow the King James Bible to be used in literature classes.
“Even if you don’t believe its teachings, you’ll agree that it includes rich usage of the English language,” the UC Irvine graduate told the L.A. Times of his previous measure. “That’s what makes it good literature.”
State bar records, that were discovered by Ken Williams of the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, show McLaughlin graduated from George Mason University School of Law after obtaining his undergraduate degree from UC Irvine. He’s an active lawyer that was admitted to State Bar of California in December 1998.
The State Bar of California claims that all applicants pass “a screening for moral character.” That raises the question: what’s it take to get disbarred in California?
Call to Action: Tell McLaughlin What You Think
The State Attorney General will accept public comments on the “Sodomite Suppression Act” through March 28. To comment on the proposed initiative, click here.
In accordance with the Election Code, “The Attorney General’s Office will provide any written public comments received during the public review period to the proponent(s).”
Life Imitates The Onion: “Everybody thinks it’s God’s will to kill gays”
Shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, The Onion satirically wrote “God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule,” which included an admonition against killing gays.
“I don’t care how holy somebody claims to be,” God said at a 2001 press conference covered exclusively by The Onion. “If a person tells you it’s My will that they kill someone, they’re wrong. Got it? I don’t care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else’s, ever again.”
“Everybody thinks it’s God’s will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall.”
Last summer, The Daily Currant wrote a satirical news piece about managers at a Hobby Lobby store stoning an employee to death for being gay.
A copy of the proposed initiative is available here.
Text of The Sodomite Suppression Act
a) 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 Gomorrah.
b) 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 for the folly of tolerating wickedness in our midst, 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.
c) No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.
d) No person shall serve in any public office, nor serve in public employment, nor enjoy any public benefit, who is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does.
e) This law is effective immediately and shall not be rendered ineffective nor invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.
f) The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.
g) This law shall be known as “The Sodomite Suppression Act” and be numbered as section 39 in Title 3 of the Penal Code, pertaining to offences against the sovereignty of the state. The text shall be prominently posted in every public school classroom. All laws in conflict with this law are to that extent invalid.