Anti- gay ballot proposal is halted
Saying that a proposed ballot measure calling for the killing of gay people is “patently unconstitutional on its face,” a Sacramento County judge has ruled that the state attorney general can halt the proposal.
With the ruling, the socalled Sodomite Suppression Act will not move forward to the signature- gathering phase and cannot be placed on a future ballot. The proposal, submitted by Huntington Beach attorney Matthew McLaughlin, sought to authorize the killing of gays and lesbians by “bullets to the head” or “any other convenient method.”
State Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris is required by law to give all proposed ballot measures a name and summary before they advance to the signature- gathering process. She asked the court to allow her to essentially ignore McLaughlin’s proposal and stop it from advancing.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond M. Cadei granted that request Monday. Requiring Harris to advance the proposal “would be inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public and tend to mislead the electorate,” Cadei wrote.
McLaughlin’s proposal has tested the limits of the state’s normally liberal attitude on putting even the most extreme ideas on the ballot if enough signatures are collected.
For a fee of $ 200, he submitted the proposal to Harris’ office in February. To get on the November 2016 ballot, the proposal would have had to receive more than 365,000 signatures in 180 days.
McLaughlin has avoided media since his proposal became public. His proposal begot another: the Intolerant Jackass Act by Woodland Hills author and activist Charlotte Laws. It would require anyone who proposes measures calling for the death of gay people to attend sensitivity training and donate $ 5,000 to a “pro- gay or pro- lesbian” group.
State officials earlier this month said Laws may circulate it and begin collecting signatures. Laws said she probably wouldn’t do so because her goal was to “make fun of Matt McLaughlin” for his anti- gay measure.