‘Shoot The Gays’ Measure Possibly Headed For California Ballot
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Attorney General Kamala Harris may have no choice but to put this despicable piece of garbage on the ballot.
Matt McLaughlin, a lawyer from Huntington Beach in Orange County, paid his $200 filing fee Feb. 26 to submit the “Sodomite Suppression Act” to the voters. Declaring it is “better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath,” it would require that anyone who touches a person of the same gender for sexual gratification be put to death by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
The measure would also make it a crime, punishable by 10 years in prison and permanent expulsion from the state, to advocate gay rights to an audience that includes minors. It specifies that its constitutionality can be judged only by a state Supreme Court that has been purged of LGBT justices and their advocates. And it authorizes private citizens to step in as executioners if the state fails to act within a year. Another provision would require that the text of the initiative be posted prominently in every public school classroom.
…McLaughlin’s measure is currently before Harris, whose options appear to be limited. Once the sponsor has paid the required fee, state law directs the attorney general to prepare a title and a maximum 100-word summary of the initiative and forward it to the secretary of state for a 90-day period of public signature-gathering. The secretary of state’s website says Harris is scheduled to take those actions by about May 4.
Does she have the power to refuse if the measure is patently unconstitutional? Harris isn’t saying; her office did not return repeated phone calls. But some veteran practitioners of election law said they don’t think so.
“The statute is clear: that the office has to prepare a summary provided the proponents have paid $200 and followed the right procedures,” said attorney Robert Stern, author of the state’s 1974 Political Reform Act. He said he’s never heard of a case in which the attorney general refused to issue a title and summary.