June July 2016
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California Man's Ballot Proposal: Death to Gays

California Man's Ballot Proposal: Death to Gays

He most likely wouldn’t like the comparison, but a California attorney named Matt McLaughlin has proposed a ballot initiative that certain terrorist groups would probably support — it calls for putting gay people to death “by bullets to the head or any other convenient method.”

McLaughlin’s initiative, called the Sodomite Suppression Act, would mandate this penalty for “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification.” His rationale is that it is better for “sodomites” to 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.”

As for allies of LGBT people, McLaughlin’s measure says that anyone who distributes “sodomistic propaganda” to a minor should “be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.” He defines “sodomistic propaganda” as “anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman.”

In California, anyone can propose a ballot initiative by filing the text with the state attorney general’s office and paying a $200 fee. That’s what McLaughlin did February 24, Wonkette reports. After a public review period of 30 days, the attorney general must publish a summary of the measure, and the sponsor can then begin gathering signatures in order to put the initiative before voters in the next election. To get on the ballot, the initiative must have valid signatures from state residents equal to 5 percent of the people who voted in the most recent gubernatorial election. That comes to nearly 366,000 signatures, so McLaughlin has little chance of qualifying the Sodomite Suppression Act for the ballot.

McLaughlin, Wonkette reports, is probably the same Matt McLaughlin who filed an initiative in 2004, requiring public school districts to make the King James Version of the Bible available to students in students in grades 1-12 so that teachers could use it in literature classes. It would have allowed students to opt out of Bible reading, but still, civil liberties groups were wary of the proposal. It did not receive enough signatures to get on the ballot.

In 2004, McLaughlin identified himself to the Los Angeles Times as an attorney from Huntington Beach, an L.A. suburb. The McLaughlin who filed the Sodomite Suppression Act gave the same Huntington Beach address, which turns out to be a Mail Box Express store, Wonkette reports. 

A Huntington Beach-based attorney named Matthew Gregory McLaughlin is currently listed as an active member of the California State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the state, according to a profile listed on the state bar's website. 

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