Insane, the work of a bigoted asshat, or a miserably failed attempt at satire? You decide.
Huntington Beach attorney Matthew Gregory McLaughlin last week submitted to the California Attorney General’s office a proposed ballot measure that would require the state to execute lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Yes, you read that right.
“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,” the proposed measure reads.
McLaughlin’s “Sodomite Suppression Act” also would make distribution of “sodomistic propaganda” – which McLaughlin defines as “anything aimed at creating interest in or acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman” – punishable by a $1 million fine, up to 10 years in prison, and expulsion from California. And it would bar anyone “who is a sodomite, or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does” from holding public office or receiving public benefits – though that seems redundant, since the measure would ensure such people already are dead or in prison.
Finally, the proposed measure specifies that it “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 nor subject to disqualification hereunder.”
The “hereunder” is a nice touch, sort of gives it a ring of legalese. Never mind that almost every part of this measure is blatantly unconstitutional – and, very likely, utterly insane.
Remember, McLaughlin is an attorney: His State Bar of California record shows he earned an undergraduate degree from UC-Irvine and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law in Virginia – his professors must be SO proud – before being admitted to practice law in 1998.
Opponents have begun an online petition urging the State Bar to disbar McLaughlin.
“Advocating the murder of innocent citizens clearly demonstrates moral turpitude and abuse of the law,” the petition says. “It is disturbing and outrageous that a lawyer admitted to the California State Bar would disgrace the profession and the state. This immoral individual is unfit to practice law. He should be immediately be barred from practicing law in California.”
Meanwhile, the attorney general’s office has no choice but to take it seriously, and begin the process of developing a title and summary under which McLaughlin can circulate petitions to place this on next year’s ballot.
Your tax dollars will pay for the time and effort it takes to do this. Unlike those in some arguably wiser states, California’s ballot-measure process doesn’t include any review to determine whether an idea is constitutionally plausible before it hits the streets.
But oh, to be a fly on the wall as McLaughlin goes out asking people to sign his petitions. It should be quite a sight to see.