California judge blocks proposed ‘Biblical’ law calling for gays to be executed
A judge has struck down a chilling ballot initiative calling for the mass execution of gay people.
Written by attorney and Christian advocate Matt McLaughlin, the initiative attempted to secure a public vote on the murder of California’s LGBT community, through “death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
McLaughlin would have needed to gather signatures from 5% of the voters in California – which is around 350,000 people – to secure a vote on the issue, but Attorney General Kamala Harris has been fighting against the proposal for several months.
Today in Sacramento County, Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei sided with Harris and struck down the plans, labelling the proposal “patently unconstitutional.”
The attorney general is typically compelled to permit every initiative, but Judge Cadei this week gave Harris his consent to withhold the proposal from continuing through the legal system.
The judge wrote in his ruling: “Any preparation and official issuance of a circulating title and summary for the Act by the Attorney General would be inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public, and tend to mislead the electorate.”
The attempted ballot measure, intended for voting in November 2016, stated: 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.
“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.”
McLaughlin neither responded for comment nor did he appear in court in defence of the act.
On April 2, the lawyer sent a letter to the office of the attorney general, implicating his intention for legal action in response: “If your office and the California Secretary of State refuse to clear the Sodomite Suppression Act for signature collection, I may demand as a remedy that it be placed on the election ballot directly.”
Following the initial submission, equality activists filed their own counter-ballot initiatives – including the Intolerant Jackass Suppression Act, and the Shellfish Suppression Act.