California received a proposal from Huntington Beach lawyer Matt McLaughlin that calls for the killing of all “sodomites”. The initiative for the state ballot was titled the “Sodomite Suppression Act.” McLaughlin paid $200 to have his initiative sent to the California Attorney General’s office. Any California resident can pay to have their initiative considered for inclusion on the state ballot. The initiative goes to the Attorney General’s office where they prepare a title and summary and send the initiative along to the signature-gathering phase.
The California Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed to the higher court asking them to allow her to block the ballot measure. In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Harris said that blocking the initiative is not simply about not liking it or finding it very disturbing but it calls for violence and vigilantism and that is unconstitutional. Harris is waiting for the courts to intervene, but if they do not she will be forced to send the initiative through to the next level.
The “Sodomite Suppression Act” states that, anyone who is gay should be killed “by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” The initiative also states that anyone distributing “sodomistic propaganda” shall be fined one million dollars and possibly jailed for up to ten years or expelled from the state for life.
California Assemblymen Richard Bloom of Santa Monica and Evan Low of Campbell have proposed a bill that will raise the initiative filing fee from $200 to $8000 in order to deter similar abuse of the initiative process. There has been no increase to the filing fee for more than forty years. For filers who are approved to be on the ballot within two years of filing they will be reimbursed according to the new bill.
TPM attempted to reach McLaughlin by calling his number provided by the State Bar and the call went directly to voicemail, with no return call received as of the publishing of their article. The Los Angeles Times went to his home and no one answered the door. For now not much is known about McLaughlin except that he is in good standing with the bar and he has a mailbox on Beach Boulevard.
The wording of the “Sodomite Suppression Act” has many religious over tones such as the opening paragraph that states that sodomy is against nature and and act that God who gifted liberty to the world commands the world to suppress upon pain of death or destruction or end up like Sodom and Gomorrah. Paragraph B states that it is better that the people committing the offense die rather than everyone being killed by, “…God’s just wrath…”
McLaughlin attempted to pass another initiative in 2004. The previous ballot initiative did not call for the killing of gays or anyone else but was to have the Bible used as a required text in public schools. He gave an interview to the LA Times in that year and mentioned that even if anyone does not believe in the Bible that one can not deny that the Bible is a great example of English usage.
By Deneishia Jacobpito
Photo By Paige – Flickr License