California’s Kill the Gays Act

California's Kill the Gays ActA California lawyer is spreading the love with a recent ballot proposition called “The Sodomite Suppression Act!” Intent on saving us all from the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah , which was utter destruction by God through brimstone and fire and no TV for a week, attorney Matt McLaughlin suggests sacrificing gays, lesbians, and anyone who supports them. In Mr. McLaughlin’s view, it’s them or us; see?

McLaughlin’s proposal is sevenfold but there are 3 high (or low) points:
1. That any person who “willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification” shall suffer “death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method”;
2. That any person who distributes, performs or transmits “sodomistic propaganda” (read “pro-gay”) directly or indirectly by any means to any minor person shall be:
a. Fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or
b. Imprisoned for up to 10 years; and/or
c. Expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life;
3. That any person who “is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does” may not hold public office, serve in public employment or “enjoy any public benefit.”

You’re right: this guy is too tender-hearted to be a lawyer. Nevertheless, his ballot proposal must be taken seriously by California’s Attorney General. Why? California’s Constitution was amended in 1911 to give voters the right to propose constitutional amendments and statutes that can be voted on by the populace. So long as Mr. McLaughlin submitted his notice and $200 filing fee by the February deadline, which he did, the California Attorney General is required to prepare a title and summary. Mr. McLaughlin will then circulate that title and summary to obtain the number of signatures required for placement on the 2016 ballot: 5% of the number of votes in the latest gubernatorial election, now estimated at 365,000 signatures, reportedly within 180 days. Of course, even if McLaughlin obtains the 365,000 signatures within 180 days, which is unlikely, and even if voters pass the measure, which is unlikelier, the state’s highest court can still toss out the Sodomite Suppression Act as unconstitutional.

The Attorney General’s response to the Sodomite Suppression Act is a dignified version of “Oh, come off it!” Attorney General Kamala Harris plans to file a request with the state Superior Court for declaratory relief and authorization for relief from preparing the title and summary. The Attorney General stated that McLaughlin’s proposed Act “not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society.”

Meanwhile, a pro-LGBT advocate with a sense of humor countered McLaughlin’s proposal with “The Intolerant Jackass Act.” Charlotte Laws, a writer, TV commentator and politician, submitted her own ballot initiative with the required $200 fee. If enacted, the “Intolerant Jackass Act” would:
1. Label the author of a ballot measure such as McLaughlin’s an “intolerant jackass”;
2. Require said “intolerant jackass” to attend sensitivity training for at least 3 hours/month for a period of 12 months;
3. Demand that the “intolerant jackass” contribute $5,000 to an organization supporting gay/lesbian rights.

Yet another response is proposed by law reform advocates, who believe the Attorney General should be empowered to use a “Human Rights Exception” allowing him/her to toss out a ballot initiative without court intervention.

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Staff Writer

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