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Attorney General Reportedly Moving To Block 'Death Penalty For Gays' Ballot Initiative

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris is reportedly moving to prevent a ballot proposal criminalizing sodomy and allowing the death penalty for anyone who "touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification" from ever appearing on the California ballot, according to Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times. 

Huntington Beach attorney Matt McLaughlin filed papers to begin gathering signatures for the ballot measure, known as the "Sodomite Suppression Act," on February 26th. Harris' move would effectively prevent signature gathering.

In California's "direct democracy" any citizen can follow procedures to propose just about any law. That doesn't mean that any law could pass, and even if passed, it doesn't mean that any law could actually go into effect. Even laws passed by a majority of California voters may been overturned by judicial review, as was the case in the Prop. 8 gay marriage debate.

This latest initiative is creating news not because of what it would do if passed but because of the fact that it, so far, stopping it has not been possible.

FULL TEXT: Criminalizing Sodomy Ballot Proposition

Along with the required $200 fee, McLaughlin's letter asking for certification of his initiative includes the following language: "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."

The Sacramento Bee reports that the Legislature's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus has now written a letter to the State Bar calling into question McLaughlin's fitness to practice law.

A petition to take away his law license already has over 40,000 signers.


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