Constitutional Law

Judge blocks lawyer's proposed 'Sodomite Suppression Act'

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A California judge has blocked a lawyer’s proposed ballot measure to impose the death penalty by “bullets to the head” for gay sodomy.

Judge Raymond Cadei of Sacramento County said the proposed “Sodomite Suppression Act” is unconstitutional on its face, report the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, the Sacramento Bee and the Recorder (sub. req.).

Cadei’s June 22 order said California Attorney General Kamala Harris does not have to issue a title and summary for the proposal because it “would be inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public, and tend to mislead the electorate.”

Harris had sought a declaratory judgment that she didn’t have to prepare the measure for the initiative process.

Huntington Beach lawyer Matt McLaughlin had paid a $200 filing fee as the first step in placing the initiative on the ballot. The next step would be gathering 365,000 signatures within 180 days.

The proposal provided 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.” It also would have imposed a $1 million fine or prison for “sodomistic propaganda” and would have banned gays from public office.

McLaughlin’s action led some to call for raising the filing fee for ballot measures and generated complaints seeking his disbarment.

The bar determined it could not discipline McLaughlin for offensive speech made in his personal capacity, according to this May 8 story by the Sacramento Bee.

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