A California lawyer filed a proposed ballot initiative that would make the Golden State less Sodom and Gomorrah-y — by putting gays and lesbians to death. (Wikipedia photo of ‘The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah’ by John Martin, 1852)
A California attorney has filed a proposed ballot initiative that, if approved, would make homosexuality in the state a crime punishable by death.
Matt McLaughlin, a lawyer from Huntington Beach, is calling his proposal the “Sodomite Suppression Act.” McLaughlin filed paperwork and submitted a $200 check to the Office of the Attorney General last month in order to formally begin the initiative process.
Common law defines “sodomy” as sexual intercourse involving anal or oral copulation, regardless of gender or partner. But McLaughlin’s law only targets people who “willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification” — in other words, gays and lesbians.
Under McLaughlin’s proposal, homosexuality in California would be a crime punishable by death. McLaughlin proposes gays be executed “by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” His initiative would also prohibit gays and lesbians from accepting public assistance, working for the state or running for office in California.
In addition, McLaughlin seeks to criminalize “sodomistic [sic] propaganda … aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than (those) between a man and a woman.” Those who distribute gay and lesbian material would face a fine of $1 million, a prison term of 10 years, expulsion from the state of California or some combination of the three under McLaughlin’s initiative.
And to wrap things up, McLaughlin’s initiative comes with a fail-safe mechanism that would prevent it from being overturned by a court unless the initiative is considered by “judges who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.”
McLaughlin is a legitimate attorney licensed to practice in California. According to a state bar listing reviewed by TheBlot Magazine, McLaughlin received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine and graduated from the George Mason University School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1998; his license was de-activated in 2012 only to be reactivated last year.
Multiple attempts to reach McLaughlin at a telephone number listed by the State Bar went unanswered. A business address listed by McLaughlin on his ballot initiative proposal returned to a post office box rental store in Huntington Beach. Employees at the retail store said they were unsure how to reach McLaughlin.
This isn’t McLaughlin’s first attempt at passing a law in California. In 2002, he pushed for a state ballot initiative that would require schools to make Bibles available to students in literature classes. His proposal would have required school districts to purchase thousands of Bibles for students, something that state officials estimated would cost around $200 million.
McLaughlin told the Los Angeles Times his Bible initiative was a “grass-roots effort” that was influenced by his time spent as a honors student, which he credited to his studying of the Bible. McLaughlin told the newspaper that his only campaign contribution was $10 from a sole individual.
In order to be considered by voters, McLaughlin needed to get more than 600,000 signatures, or around 8 percent of the voting population at the time. The classroom Bible initiative did not gain momentum.Matthew Keys is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.