Orange County attorney Matthew McLaughlin has made his case to the public and the verdict is in from legal experts—Attorney General Kamala Harris has no choice but to write a title and text for a petition to get the Sodomite Suppression Act (pdf) on the California ballot.
McLaughlin paid a $200 filing fee and submitted his proposed text to the attorney general’s office last month, along with an initiative certification. State law compels the AG to write a petition title and summary of no more than 100 words and ship it to the Secretary of State’s office for circulation by May 4.
Legal experts say the law gives her no wiggle room, even if the initiative is plainly illegal, unconstitutional and deranged. That sort of judgment is reserved for the state Supreme Court. But there’s a chance Harris may not want that writing sample accompanying her resume as she prepares to run for Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat next year.
The initiative invokes homosexuality as a “monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress.” Since it’s us or them, the law would require 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 any other convenient method.”
Spreading gay “propaganda” within earshot of a minor is punishable by a $1 million fine per occurrence, imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or expulsion from California. No gays would be allowed in public employment or office.
If the Supreme Court justices want to weigh in, they are forewarned not to wait until it becomes law because it “shall not be rendered ineffective or 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.”
McLaughlin’s initiative needs 365,880 signatures to get on the ballot. That’s a high benchmark for craziness. But the Huntington Beach lawyer knows that.
He submitted an initiative for the 2004 ballot that would have allowed the King James Bible or an authorized version as a textbook in grades 1-12. The state would be required to supply free Bibles to all the kids who wanted them. The San Francisco Chronicle said McLaughlin denied a religious intent back then and said he simply wanted to promote its “rich use of the English language.” But the AssociatedPress quoted McLaughlin as saying he believed an educated person needs to be “biblically literate.”
The initiative only needed 598,105 back then to qualify, but it failed.
So much for McLaughlin’s proposal being a colorful way of fostering a discussion of free speech, an examination of the flawed ballot initiative system or a clever piece of performance art. Rather, it seems to be a hate-filled rant that looks oddly out of place in California, but probably resonates with the Fox News demographic across America.
McLaughlin, after all, is still just trying to educate Californians. And to that end, his new initiative would require that the new law be posted in every public school classroom. He is also trying to involve a citizenry notorious for its political apathy, especially at the ballot box.
If the authorities fail to enforce the law within one year, all members of the public would be “empowered and deputized to execute” it— and presumably, gays—while “immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.”
Is it too early for a Field Poll on its prospects?