A Huntington Beach attorney is trying to make a point about the First Amendment, but it seems unlikely that Matt McLaughlin could have found a more offensive way to do it.
Hard to believe, but McLaughlin has proposed a ballot measure that calls for the killing of gays and lesbians. And it appears that he will be allowed to proceed to the signature-gathering stage.
It will cost just $200 for McLaughlin to file his petition initiative with the California Attorney General’s office. Invoking God’s wrath, McLaughlin’s proposed “Sodomite Suppression Act” says anyone who touches another person of the same sex for purposes of sexual gratification shall be – quote – “put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
While that’s clearly unconstitutional, legal experts say Attorney General Kamala Harris has no authority to stop it, as her powers are limited to writing the title and summary for the proposed ballot measure.
It’s extremely unlikely that McLaughlin would be able to qualify for the ballot – he’d need around 350,000 signatures. But LGBT folks are not happy about the prospect of being solicited by signature gatherers seeking support for a measure that aims to have them killed.
The Legislature’s LGBT Caucus has asked the state Bar to investigate McLaughlin. And Sacramento media consultant Carol Dahmen has launched a petition aimed at stripping him of his law license. “It’s an interesting discussion about free speech and I get that,” she told the Sacramento Bee. “But, this is a lawyer and he’s advocating for murder.”
It’s not McLaughlin’s first foray into state politics. Last year, he filed papers to collect signatures for a ballot measure that would require teachers to use the Bible in literature classes.