A state judge in California has ruled that Attorney General Kamala Harris does not have to process a proposed referendum that would prescribe the death penalty for all homosexual sex. Matthew McLaughlin, an attorney, filed the ‘Sodomite Suppression Act’ several months ago and Harris refused to process it.
Saying 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 judge’s ruling, the so-called 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 murder of gays and lesbians by “bullets to the head” or “any other convenient method.”
“This proposed act is the product of bigotry, seeks to promote violence, is patently unconstitutional and has no place in a civil society,” Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris said in a statement Tuesday.
Harris is required by state law to give all proposed ballot measures a formal name and summary before they advance to the signature-gathering process. Earlier this year, Harris filed an action for declaratory relief with the Sacramento County Superior Court asking the court to let her essentially ignore McLaughlin’s proposal and stop it from advancing.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond M. Cadei granted Harris’ request in a decision issued Monday.
Requiring Harris to advance McLaughlin’s proposal to the signature-gathering phase “would be inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public and tend to mislead the electorate,” Cadei wrote.
I’m not sure this is correct as a matter of law and I’m sure it will be appealed. I certainly agree that the proposed law is clearly unconstitutional, but a court has no jurisdiction to make that ruling before it’s actually passed (and it would never be passed, of course). Frankly, I’d rather let the guy do it and try to gather the necessary signatures, which he won’t be able to do. Let the bastard waste his own time.