California ballot initiative to shoot gays

The state of California has a system whereby one can put proposed laws on the ballot for a statewide referendum, provided the petition garners a certain number of signatures that this year stands at 365,000. This year a lawyer Matt McLaughlin has petitioned to have on the ballot what he has called the Sodomite Suppression Act and filed it with the state’s attorney general along with the required $200 fee, the first step in getting permission to gather signatures.

The proposed act calls for anyone who “willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification” to be “put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method”, while anyone who indulges in pro-gay propaganda “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”. Anyone who is a “sodomite” or supports “sodomistic propaganda” is also barred from holding any public position, though one would think that this is redundant since they would be either dead or imprisoned and/or exiled.

The question was raised as to whether the state’s attorney general was required to take at face value something like this that is patently unconstitutional and go through all the paperwork to allow the petition to be circulated for signature gathering or whether she could summarily reject it. The consensus seems to be that she has to allow it. It seems inconceivable that the petitioner will be able to garner the required number of signatures within 180 days to get it on the ballot or if he does that voters will pass it.

But what the ballot initiative process giveth, it also taken away. In response, Charlotte Laws has filed the Intolerant Jackass Act which states that:

“Any person, herein known as an ‘Intolerant Jackass,’ who brings forth a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays and/or lesbians, whether this measure is called the Sodomite Suppression Act or is known by some other name, shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three (3) hours per month for twelve (12) consecutive months. In addition, the offender or “Intolerant Jackass” must donate $5000 to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization.”

No wonder that the ballots in California are reported to be very lengthy.

Is McLaughlin just looking to gain name recognition or is this is an elaborate spoof? He has been unavailable for comment or interviews. But he had back in 2004 filed a petition to have the Bible used as a literary text in public schools, suggesting that if it is a hoax, then this guy is in it for the long haul. I was also wondering, considering that during his 2004 petition effort he had said that he is strongly influenced by the Bible and reads it almost every day, why he did not stick more closely to the Bible and demand that gays be stoned to death, rather than by the decidedly unbiblical “bullets to the head”.

If all this is merely to gain notoriety, he has managed to do so for the absurdly low cost of $200.


  1. Chiroptera says

    …or whether she could summarily reject it.

    Well, that would kind of defeat the purpose of the citizens’ ballot initiative process.

    The idea of citizen’s proposing legislation and then voting on them at the general election really started during the Progressive Era, when state governments (executive, legislature, and judiciary) were pretty much owned by rich white men and their corporations. The intent was to give the citizens the ability to bypass the corrupt legislators who were unresponsive to the real needs and desires of the citizenry.

    ‘Course, now that we’ve run the experiment of direct citizen involvement in the legislative process for over a hundred years, we can debate whether it was a good idea over all, and if it is a good idea whether some reforms and limitations need to be instituted.

  2. moarscienceplz says

    No wonder that the ballots in California are reported to be very lengthy.

    Oh hell, yeah. Most elections I get literally pounds of official sample ballots, voter information “booklets”, and official statements from the candidates, plus supplemental material for those initiatives that didn’t meet the original deadline. This does not count the flurries of paid political mailers in my mailbox. Trying to be a good, informed citizen is quite a chore.

  3. busterggi says

    Looks as though there’ll be a sudden influx of Mormons (or at least their money) into California again.

  4. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    If Mr McLaughlin wants “to have the Bible used as a literary text in public schools” it suggests that he doesn’t regard it as a text with any direct moral, historical or ethical applications.

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