Earlier this year, a California lawyer and so-called “Christian” activist named Matt McLaughlin paid $200 out of his own pocket to put an initiative — “The Sodomite Suppression Act” — on the ballot in the Golden State that would require all gays and lesbians to be executed by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
Now another activist, Woodland Hills author Charlotte Laws, has filed “The Intolerant Jackass Act,” which, if approved by voters, would require anyone who proposes measures calling for the death of gay people to attend monthly sensitivity training and to donate $5,000 to “a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Laws told the Times, “It was done as a statement to make fun of Mr. McLaughlin. I wanted the world to see that California is a very open-minded state and that he is a lone voice, a minority voice, and that my ‘Intolerant Jackass Act’ actually reflects the sentiments of Californians.”
Laws’ proposed initiative says the “abominable crime known as prejudice against sexual orientation … is a destructive view that society commands us to suppress,” and refers to people who bring forth ballot proposals like McLaughlin’s as “Intolerant Jackasses.”
Laws said that her initiative was specifically intended to make fun of McLaughlin’s Sodomite Suppression initiative. She also said she believes the “people of California are intelligent; they aren’t going to pass something like [McLaughlin’s] absurd proposal.”
Laws told the Times her proposed initiative “obviously … isn’t constitutional either,” and that she was just making a statement by filing it. But if McLaughlin does somehow manage to get a significant number of signatures for his initiative, she said she might circulate hers for signatures, too. She said several people have already called and told her they would be willing to gather signatures for her.
To get his initiative on the November 16 ballot, McLaughlin would have to collect 365,000 signatures in about 180 days, a task the Times says would be mighty tough, “even for well-financed efforts.”
California Attorney General Kamala Harris last month requested a court order from the Sacramento County Superior Court allowing her to halt McLaughlin’s measure, saying it was both “reprehensible” and unconstitutional. The action is pending before the court and a hearing date has not been set yet, a spokeswoman for the AG’s office said, adding that the attorney general’s office will not be advancing McLaughlin’s proposal to the signature-gathering process while the matter is pending before the court.
Without the court order, though, Harris’ office will be required to prepare the measure for the signature-gathering part of the initiative process.
As the California Attorney General’s Office fights against anti-LGBT nastiness like McLaughlin’s initiative, it’s worth noting that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is busy filing lawsuits to keep from having to abide by the U.S. Department of Labor’s instructions to extend the definition of spouse to include legally-married same-sex spouses for the purpose of the Family Medical Leave Act, and defending the state’s ban on marriage equality, which has already been ruled unconstitutional in federal court.