The Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, may have to allow the "Shoot the Gays" ballot initiative to move forward and circulate among potential voters for signatures, despite the measure being unquestionable unconstitutional. If the proposal collects enough valid signatures, specifically 365,000 of them, it could even be voted upon by California's voters in the 2016 elections.
The ballot measure, formerly proposed as the "Sodomite Suppression Act" by California attorney Matthew G. McLaughlin, was formally filed at the end of February. The proposal includes measures that, if passed, would make it legal for "anyone who touches a person of the same gender for sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” It even authorized private citizens to take this matter into their own hands if the state does not act. The proposal includes other ludicrous and outrageous homophobic measures that don't bear worth repeating.
The good news is that it is simply unthinkable that a ballot initiative like would collect 365,000 signatures. In California. In 2015. It is even more unthinkable that, if by some craziness it did make it to the 2016 election ballot, California voters would pass it. And lastly it would be simply impossible for a court to ignore the blatant state and federal constitutional violations this bill proposes.
According to the SF Gate, the California State Supreme Court has the ability to prevent this measures that violate the state constitution from being on the ballot. However, the measure is not quite there yet. The "state law directs the attorney general to prepare a title and a maximum 100-word summary of the initiative and forward it to the secretary of state for a 90-day period of public signature-gathering." Therefore State Attorney General Harris is scheduled to make a decision by about May 4, according to the secretary of state's website.
A Southern California attorney’s proposal to put a “shoot the gays” initiative on the ballot is unlikely to ever become law — for one thing, it’s unconstitutional — but Attorney General Kamala Harris may have no choice but clear it for circulation.
What can we do in the meantime? Some are pushing to get Matt McLaughlin, the attorney who proposed the ballot measure, disbarred by the California Bar Association. To sign a petition in favor of disbarring this man, go here.