California AG asks court to stop ‘Sodomite Suppression Act’

California Attorney General Kamala Harris (Reuters / Gary Cameron)
If the court does not grant her a special exemption, California’s Attorney General may be obligated by law to process a ballot initiative that would legalize the killing of homosexuals.

Named the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” the initiative calls for putting to death “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification.”

Under California law, the Attorney General’s Office has the responsibility to prepare and issue all submitted ballot initiatives, releasing them to the public for signature gathering.

This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement Wednesday, asking the court to relieve her from the obligation to process the proposal.

If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism,” Harris added.

Submitted by Huntington Beach attorney Matt McLaughlin, the initiative reads: “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 proposal also declares that individuals who distribute “sodomistic” 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.”

California has practiced direct democracy through referenda since 1849. Ballot proposition initiatives were introduced in 1911. A ballot initiative that collects enough signatures – currently five percent of the number of people who voted in the most recent gubernatorial election, or 365,880 – becomes a Proposition and will be put before voters in the November general elections.

My understanding is that once you've paid your fee, submitted your language, the Attorney General is obligated to write a title and summary,” Bakersfield political consultant Stan Harper, who has written several of his own ballot initiatives, told local KBAK/KBFX News.

Once you sign these, your name goes to the registrar of voters, and anybody can look up your name to see what petitions you've signed,” Harper added.

Meanwhile, community activist Charlotte Laws has submitted her own ballot initiative, dubbed the 'Intolerant Jackass Act.' It parodies the language of McLaughlin’s proposal and calls for “any person who brings forward a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays or lesbians” to be punished by having to donate $5000 to a “pro-gay” or “pro-lesbian” organization and undergo three days of “sensitivity training” each month for a year.