California attorney general attempts to block bid for “kill the gays” law


California’s top lawyer said Wednesday she will ask a judge to block a proposed California ballot initiative that calls for gays to be “put to death by bullets to the head.”

Without approval from the court, Attorney General Kamala Harris would be forced to issue a title and summary for the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act, allowing the author to collect votes to get the initiative on the November 2016 ballot.

“This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society,” Harris, who plans to run next year for U.S. Senate, said in a statement, adding that the proposal “seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

Harris plans to ask for permission to not issue the title and summary for the proposal in Sacramento State Superior Court, her press secretary, Kristin Ford, told Mashable.

The bid’s author, Huntington Beach lawyer Matt McLaughlin, would need to collect 365,880 signatures to get his religiously-motivated proposal on the ballot, which seems like a longshot in a state with strong lobbying forces that fought fiercely for marriage equality after the state passed a ban on gay marriage via ballot measure.

While signature gathering can be an expensive process that can cost millions, McLaughlin paid only the requisite $200 to submit his proposal, which can be read in full below. It was filed with the attorney general’s office on Feb. 26.

The act also proposes to block gays from holding public office and receiving public benefits as well as punishing those who promote “an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman” with a $1 million fine, up to 10 years in prison or exile from California.

With its low-barrier to entry, California’s initiative process has prompted controversial proposals before—such as a 1994 initiative that aimed to deny public benefits to those in the country illegally and a 2010 suggestion to ban divorce. Some have suggested increasing the filing fee, but as Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, told NPR: “It won’t stop people from submitting crazy ideas.”

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