A lawyer and anti-LGBT activist in California has filed a ballot initiative calling for the death of anyone who participates in same-sex sexual activities.
Matt McLaughlin’s “Sodomite Suppression Act” appears to be completely serious. He filed it with the Office of the Attorney General on Feb. 26, complete with a $200 check and seven measure outlining why sodomy is "a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.“
He also calls for limitations on the spread of "sodomistic propaganda” and on "sodomites" holding public office. He wants the text of his bill displayed prominently in classrooms as a creepy reminder. Here’s how he wants gay people killed:
Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, 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 by any other convenient method.
The death penalty is illegal in California, for the record. McLaughlin would need to get 350,000 signatures in favor of his ballot initiative in order for it to appear on the ballot – if the attorney general and other authorities don’t swoop in to eliminate it first. I just don’t even know how to respond to this. Terror? Confusion? Embarrassment for this poor, sad man?
The proposal by Matt McLaughlin, who lists his address in Huntington Beach, was received by the initiative coordinator at the Office of the Attorney General on Feb. 26. Enclosed was a $200 check and the complete text of his “Sodomite Suppression Act.”The act outlines seven measures relating to those who engage in same-sex sodomy, “a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.”
A ballot initiative that calls for the wholesale execution of gays and lesbians was nixed Monday by a California judge who issued an order that declares the Sodomite Suppression Act “unconstitutional on its face.”
State Attorney General Kamala Harris had filed a lawsuit in March to block the initiative, arguing her office should not be required to formulate a ballot description for the measure — which states that gays and lesbians must be “put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
Superior Court Judge Raymond M. Cadei agreed.
“Any preparation and official issuance of a circulating title and summary for the Act by the Attorney General would be inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public, and tend to mislead to the electorate,” said Cadei’s decision.
In case you were wondering what happened with that horrific proposal from a guy in California who wanted to literally and legally shoot every LGBT person in the head: it’s gone now. We can all go home. Nothing to see here.
In her new book Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker tells the behind-the-scenes story of an important chapter in the fight for marriage equality. She embedded with the team that challenged Proposition 8 — the 2008 anti-gay marriage California ballot initiative that called for amending the state constitution to say that the state would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.
The strategy of going to the Supreme Court was controversial within the gay community. If the courts weren’t ready for the litigation it could’ve caused a huge set-back, upholding bans like Proposition 8 for years to come:
“The gay rights community had a strategy going in, they thought that they needed to have 30 states with some form of recognition — whether that be marriage, whether it be civil unions — but they wanted to have 30 states signed on before they went to the federal courts. What was really interesting to me is the echoes of the kind of similar debate that took place in the previous century over the civil rights fights that African Americans waged. There were people who thought, "You’re moving too fast! The courts aren’t ready!” back then.“