A shocking California ballot proposal that calls for gays and lesbians to be “put to death by bullets to the head” is triggering a widespread backlash for the author -- while also raising questions about the state's unique and sometimes-troublesome ballot initiative process.
Orange County lawyer Matthew Gregory McLaughlin filed the “Sodomite Suppression Act” late last month with the state attorney general's office. The initiative, which purports to give residents the authority to act as executioners, contains incendiary language that already is being called outright hate speech.
The proposal 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.”
McLaughlin's proposal also calls for banning gays -- or “sodomites” – from holding public office. Those found guilty of spreading propaganda would be fined $1 million and/or thrown in jail for a decade. He or she could also be banned from California for life, under the proposal.
Of course, none of this would ever be implemented as it would run afoul of any number of state and federal laws -- let alone the constitutional right to due process. But the proposal itself continues to go through the official ballot initiative process, and some are concerned it's been able to get this far.