SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A Superior Court judge has ruled the "Sodomite Suppression Act" proposed ballot initiative that called for the murder of gays is unconstitutional, effectively preventing the hate-filled bill from going before California voters.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris would have been required by law to issue a title and summary for the proposed initiative by June 25, so the bill's author could gather the 366,000 signatures needed to put it on the ballot.
The proposal authored by Southern California attorney Matt McLaughlin has been panned by pundits and politicians across the political spectrum.
The violently homophobic proposal advocated shooting anyone in the head who touches someone of the same gender for "sexual gratification." Distribution of gay "sodomistic propaganda" would be punishable by a $1 million fine, 10 years in prison, and expulsion from the State of California for life. Gay people would be barred from ever holding public office.
In his ruling Tuesday, the Honorable Raymond M. Cadei called the proposed initiative "patently unconstitutional on its face," and said "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."
Last March, Harris asked the Superior Court in Sacramento for permission to reject the measure, calling it unconstitutional and "utterly reprehensible," and later appealed for more time in an effort to keep the initiative off the ballot.
In a letter last April to the San Francisco Chronicle, McLaughlin, who paid $200 to submit the initiative, said he would not respond to Harris' lawsuit, citing costly litigation as a major deterrent. However, he threatened to pursue other avenues in an effort to circumvent her authority.
"Take notice that if your office and the California Secretary of State refuse to clear the Sodomite Suppression Act for signature circulation, I may demand as remedy that it be placed on the election ballot directly," wrote the Huntington Beach attorney.
McLaughlin has not said whether he will appeal Judge Cadei's ruling or take further action.
For now, AG Harris is no longer obligated to do the required title and summary, and the proposed bill will not go before the voters of California.
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