There is a ballot initiative circulating in California currently that may cause you to do a double take. Matt McLaughlin, a lawyer in the Golden State, wants to make homosexuality a capital offense. Not only that, but he wants to disqualify any “sodomite” from serving in office and has even written language into his bill saying that it can not be invalidated by any other laws or courts short of the state’s supreme court. We have to reiterate: This is occurring in California in the year 2015, not Saudi Arabia, not medieval europe, not even Iran.
The full language of the proposal can be found here (pdf). While the initiative stands about as much chance as passing as a snowball in Gomorrah, the state’s ballot initiative process means that Matt McLaughlin, Esq. can continue gathering signatures without anything short of karma stopping him.
The bill contains seven parts. The first reads:
The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.
Nevermind that his interpretation of that particular story from the judeo-christian mythos is wide of the mark by so far that you wouldn’t even have enough salt to fill a shaker, the fact that he thinks the state of California is a theocracy should tell us all we need to know.
The second part is the real meat of it, however. It calls for the execution of anybody who “willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification” to be put to death by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” Otherwise God might smite the whole state, you see.
The rest of the bill outlines other things that “sodomites” aren’t allowed to do, including the aforementioned holding of office, being in a position to help overturn the law, and no “propaganda” supporting same sex lifestyles. Oh, and all citizens of the state would be authorized to carry out any part of this law without fear of punishment.
The initiative has garnered enough attention to warrant a response from the capital on Thursday, who basically shrugged and said that there’s nothing they can do about it. However, there was a significant amount of outrage and the implication that there is no chance it will ever become law anyway.
There seems to be some doubt as to whether this is an extreme example of Poe’s Law, or even whether Mr. McLaughlin exists. Suffice to say, there’s very little chance of passing, or even getting on the ballot. Hopefully this is just an expert troll job and there isn’t really some nutter like this running around thinking that executing gays and lesbians is a reasonable law to try to get on the books.
Stranger things have happened, however.