On Wednesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a motion with the Superior Court in Sacramento to stop the so-called “Sodomite Suppression Act” from being placed on the ballot in the state.
Stating that the proposed bill was unconstitutional and disgusting, Harris asked to be relieved of her duty to certify the referendum, understanding that it could jeopardize her political future to be connected with such a measure. Harris has, in the past, declined to fulfill her duty to defend actual law passed by Californians, particularly Proposition 8 protecting traditional marriage.
“This is not about whether we like something or not,” Harris explained to The Sacramento Bee, “or whether we simply find it offensive or troubling. In this case, we are talking about a proposal that literally is calling for violence. It’s calling for vigilantism. It’s calling for the public to be able to shoot in the head a member of the LGBT community.” She did not explain why she refused to defend Proposition 8, which did none of these things.
The proposal refers to sodomy as “a monstrous evil” and recommends as a solution “bullets to the head” for those caught in the act. It also suggests a $1 million fine for those who distribute “sodomistic propaganda” to minors.
Under California law, a proposal that is facially unconstitutional can be thrown out by the courts before state expenditures are made to facilitate its placement on the ballot.
Other California Democrats, unsatisfied with the current process for disposing of politically unpalatable initiatives, have suggested increasing the filing fee for referenda to $8,000 or forcing signatures to be made public for particular propositions.
Gay and lesbian activist groups have asked the State Bar to disbar and expel the lawyer who penned the “Sodomite Suppression Act.”
Meanwhile, another activist has filed the “Intolerant Jackass Act,” a referendum that would label any author of an initiative like the “Sodomite Suppression Act” an “intolerant jackass,” and force that person to attend three hours of sensitivity training every month for a year, as well as to pay $5,000 to a pro-LGBT organization.