CA Man Files ‘Sodomy Suppression Act’ Referendum

Some bigoted fascist in California spent the $200 required to file a referendum with the state of California, hoping to get it on the ballot in 2016, that would require 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 man’s name is Matt McLaughlin and he’s from Huntington Beach. He needs to get 365,000 signatures on petitions to put it on the ballot, which he won’t be able to do. But here’s the language of the referendum he wants to pass:

15-0008 (Sodomy)

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  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    He needs to get 365,000 valid signatures. For any initiative drive, you can expect that as many as 20% will be invalid: the voter has put down an old address rather than where they are currently registered, or the person is not a registered voter, or (as often happens with conservative initiative petitions) they are fraudulently put in by an unscrupulous worker. Realistically, he’d need to get about 420,000 signatures.

    Also, keep in mind that California law states that the petitions and donor lists — including names and addresses — are matters of public record. The federal courts just upheld this with regards to the Proposition 8 campaign. Hopefully, that will guarantee that this fails to make the ballot, as bigots are rather like cockroaches when it comes to light.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Note that the title of this post is wrong. McLaughlin has actually filed papers for what he calls a “Sodomite Suppression Act”. So much for “hate the sin, not the sinner.”

  • whheydt

    Reminds me of the “Clean Amendment” of many years ago in California which was an anti-pornography proposal. It actually got on the ballot. During the campaign over it, an organization popped up stating that they would go after the Gideon Society if it passed…for distributing obscene literature. The Clean Amendment went down in flames…

    I *hope* this guy won’t get enough valid signatures to get it on the ballot (I have some concerns that people will sign it as a joke), but if it comes to a vote, there will need to be a serious campaign against it. A juicy scandal involving one or more prominent supporters would help a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Sigh…

  • Synfandel

    …that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death…

    Not that I give a rodent’s rectum about religious rules, but out of curiosity, can anyone find a Bible passage that proscribes lesbian sex? Or is God down with that ‘cuz…you know…it’s kind of hot?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I love how there’s a link at the bottom of the picture offering to “show me more like 15-0008 (sodomy).” Are there more proposals like this?

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    It’s quite possible that he can get enough signatures simply by using the same sneaky techniques that a lot of people use for initiatives in California. Someone will approach you outside of the grocery store and give you a long spiel about “protecting the children” or some such nonsense. They’ll have a “summary” of the proposed bill on the top page and will have the actual text of the petition somewhere farther back on the stack of papers. The petition will be written in opaque language to further obscure things.

    My default stance is that I never sign initiative petitions and it’s extremely rare that I vote in favor of an initiative. Too often, “protect the dust bunnies” is a cover for union busting or school privatization (for example.) Sometimes I’ll ask the petition collector if they know who is actually funding the drive. If they can’t give me a straight answer I won’t even bother to read the thing. And no, “The Committee to Protect Motherhood and Apple Pie” isn’t detailed enough.

    @whheydt

    I wouldn’t worry too much even if it got on the ballot and even if it passed. I think that SCOTUS has ruled on the topic of anti-sodomy laws enough times that this wouldn’t travel very far. No DA with an IQ above room temperature would try to prosecute on this one. This isn’t Georgia, after all.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Gregory in Seattle “He needs to get 365,000 valid signatures. For any initiative drive, you can expect that as many as 20% will be invalid: the voter has put down an old address rather than where they are currently registered, or the person is not a registered voter, or (as often happens with conservative initiative petitions) they are fraudulently put in by an unscrupulous worker. Realistically, he’d need to get about 420,000 signatures.”

    He needs more than that. On account of The Gays signing (for the irony, mostly), a bunch of the valid signatures will have sodomites on them. Sure, you can try to rub them off, but a man rubbing off sodomites exacerbates the very problem that the referendum is intended to solve…

  • eric

    I’m guessing he has no intention or at least no realistic plan to get it on the ballot. This is political theater. The proper response by the CA legislature should be to (a) ignore the content, while (b) raising the filing fee by an order of magnitude so that future similar grandstanders don’t use the referendum process for their own self-promotion.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification …

    A new and curious definition of “sodomy”.

    So under McLaughlin’s rule, those who choose to can still bugger the bejayzus out of those who choose that, so long as one (1) and no more than one (1) Y chromosome is present?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    The proper response by the CA legislature should be to (a) ignore the content, while (b) raising the filing fee by an order of magnitude so that future similar grandstanders don’t use the referendum process for their own self-promotion.

    Yeah, if you can’t see the problem with (b)…

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    @eric

    The California legislature doesn’t have the ability to ignore or to recognize the content of the petition. The initiative process is almost entirely out of legislative control, by design. Raising the fee would actually open them to a constitutional challenge on First Amendment grounds.

    Grandstanders like this haven’t been a big problem in California. It’s the special interests that try to hide their intent that are the big one. Them and popular initiatives that have unintended consequences — see Proposition 13 for that one. It’s kept property taxes low while making things like school funding nearly impossible.

  • garnetstar

    The description of how he wants the “sodomites” executed is a little too vivid and detailed: it set off my alarm circuits. He seems to have thought about it too much.

    Are the police going to talk to this guy? What’s he likely to do when his dream of legislating these executions is quenched?

  • John Pieret

    Wow! I’ve never seen anything that is so completely unconstitutional in so little space in my professional life of 40+ years.

    “put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method” – 8th Amendment, cruel and unusual punishment.

    “No person shall distribute … sodomistic propaganda [defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman]” – 1st Amendment, freedom of speech

    “expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life” – probably violates 8th Amendment, cruel and unusual punishment

    “shall not be rendered ineffective nor invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges who are neither sodomites” – Article 6, supremacy clause, 14th Amendment depriving gay judges and/or judges who support gay rights of their right to due process and equal protection

    “general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability” – 14th Amendment, due process of law [essentially it licenses kangaroo courts and lynchings]

    And those are just the obvious ones. Since it appeals to a particular god and justifies itself as a means to avoid that god’s destruction, it certainly seems to violate the 1st Amendment by establishing one interpretation of Abrahamic religions as governing the criminal law. There are other things in this screed that may be unconstitutional, depending on how it was implemented in the extremely unlikely case it became law.

    Paying $200 just to vent one’s dislike of gays, that could be done all but free on the internet is just another indication of this person’s mental stability.

  • HappyHead

    @garnetstar #13

    What’s he likely to do when his dream of legislating these executions is quenched?

    Come up with a different defense to use at his planned murder trial? I agree with you about the police maybe needing to have a talk with this guy.

  • grumpyoldfart

    He paid only $200 and now he’s famous. Mission already accomplished as far as he’s concerned.

  • moarscienceplz

    Tabby Lavalamp #11:

    I know it sounds like the California initiative process is some lovely form of direct democracy, but in fact it has been mostly used by PACs and various corporate interests to push their agendas, just like ArtK said at #7. About twenty years ago, we had four separate initiatives one the same ballot, all ostensibly to make auto insurance fairer. But each one was written by parties beholden to insurance companies. And don’t forget Proposition 8, the “peoples” response to same-sex marriage, which was actually heavily funded by the Mormon church, up to and including busing in people from out of state to canvas neighborhoods. I myself witnessed a van full of young men in white shirts and ties running all over my block (and lying to my face about what they wanted to talk about).

    Raising the entrance fee to $2000 dollars won’t stop this kind of crap, of course, but I do feel California needs to rein in the initiative process. It has done more harm to the ordinary citizens of CA than it has helped, IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    moarscienceplz @17:

    Oh, I don’t disagree that the initiative process is horrible, but it should probably be scrapped. Raising the price isn’t going to stop moneyed interests from abusing it so doing away with it altogether is probably the best thing for California. There’s a reason why absolute democracies would be just as horrifying as absolute monarchies.

  • zenlike

    Correction: CA lawyer Files ‘Sodomy Suppression Act’ Referendum

  • lorn

    Tell me what you really want and I will show you who you are.

    On the up side this person has openly stated what they want with use of euphemisms or coded language. He just lays the whole putrid, stinking heap right out there for everyone to see. It is something of a virtue in that it clarifies the issues.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Don’t worry. I’m sure McLaughlin will go after sex acts he doesn’t like between straight people if his initiative passes.

  • Nemo

    I especially liked the shout-out to “freedom and liberty”.

  • Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    @whheydt

    I wouldn’t worry too much even if it got on the ballot and even if it passed. I think that SCOTUS has ruled on the topic of anti-sodomy laws enough times that this wouldn’t travel very far. No DA with an IQ above room temperature would try to prosecute on this one. This isn’t Georgia, after all.

    There are plenty of people who would take part f at face value.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    @Modusoperandi #8 – Your points intrigue me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    I am inclined to believe that a gay activist found a gullible Tea Party voting, Faux Noize watching conspiracy theorist and, just for fun, goaded him him into this absurdity.

    Just think for a moment: whether or not he collects the signatures, it will — it already is — getting national and international attention. It is so over-the-top extreme that even Faux Noize will be forced to denounce it. Anyone who is still on the fence regarding “religious rights” exemptions or basic human rights will likely become so disgusted at the fanatics that they will get off the fence on the side of equality. The cause LGBT rights will make solid advances.

    Much like the extremism of the Westboro Baptist Church, this initiative may prove to be just the help we need.

  • martinc

    It reads like porn. Someone writing a whole bunch of wish-fulfillment self-pleasuring stuff that he can sit and wank to.

    If it gets to the referendum stage, I hope they offer three options:

    Do you:

    [ ] APPROVE the bill?

    [ ] REJECT the bill?

    [ ] feel kind of dirty and need a shower?

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    @Tabby Lavalamp #18 – I disagree strongly that the initiative process should be scrapped. The reason it exists is to provide a way to change the law despite what professional politicians and their owners want. In just Washington State, initiatives to the people and the legislature have:

    * repealed laws criminalizing recreational use of marijuana (I-502, 2014)

    * established background checks for home healthcare workers, and mandated training for the same (I-1163, 2011)

    * ended the state monopoly on liquor sales (I-1138, 2011)

    * allowed medically supervised death with dignity (I-1000, 2008)

    * made most public venues smoke-free (I-901, 2005)

    * regulated dumping of radioactive waste and allowed lawsuits to be filed against violators (I-297)

    * directed part of the tobacco tax to fund low-income health initiatives (I-773, 2001)

    * legalized the medical use of marijuana (I-692, 1998)

    * made Washington the first state to tie the minimum wage to the rate of inflation (I-688, 1998)

    * prohibited state and local governments from discriminating against select groups with regards to public employment, public education, and public contracting (I-200, 1997)

    * enacted Roe v. Wade as state law (I-120, 1990)

    Keep in mind that few, if any, of these measures would have made it into law if it were not for the initiative process. Yes, we have our share of extremists and ideologues, but I’m not sure that dismantling the whole system would be in the people’s best interest.

    The numbers seem a bit off because Washington has two types of initiatives, one with a high number of required signatures that goes directly to the ballot (the initiative to the people) and one with half that number of required signatures that goes through the Legislature first (the initiative to the Legislature), with the Legislature required to either pass it as-is or put it on the ballot with or without an alternative measure. Most initiatives are proposed as to the people, so those are the high numbers in the above list.

  • markus

    Were anti-sodomy laws not struck dowm by the US Supreme Court some decades ago?

    Does this alone not also make any new anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional?

  • U Frood

    I’m afraid that if something like this makes progress, even if it doesn’t actually pass, some people will take it as an excuse to murder people in the name of “enforcing the law”.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @Synfandel #5:

    Romans 1:26-27 can be construed to condemn lesbian sex (a “vile affection”):

    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

  • Penelope Trees

    I have no idea how many people live in California, but since it is such a large state, I am guessing there would be more than enough legal voters to sign this. However, the Supreme Court would never sign this into law.