Saturday, March 3, 2018

#1973: Matt McLaughlin(?)

Matt McLaughlin is (it seems) a local village idiot and fascist from Huntington Beach who managed to get national attention in 2015 when he spent $200 to file a referendum with the state of California. McLaughlin, an attorney, hoped to get, on the ballot for 2016, a measure that would require that “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” You can read the text of the referendum, called the “Sodomite Suppression Act”, here. In addition to punishments for acts of homosexuality, the measure said that people who indulges in pro-gay propaganda “shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life”. Also, anyone who is a “sodomite” or supports “sodomistic propaganda” should be barred from holding any public position, which might strike some as somewhat redundant given that they would already have been executed and/or expelled.

Unfortunately for McLaughlin, he would have needed 365,000 signatures on petitions to put it on the ballot, which did not materialize. Indeed, the measures to collect signatures weren’t even started, as the measure was pre-emptively rejected by the courts as “patently unconstitutional”.

In 2004 McLaughlin sponsored the King James Bible as Textbook initiative, which “would amend the Constitution to allow teachers to use the Bible in literature classes.”

Diagnosis: One cannot but point and laugh at the furious but impotent evil. Of course, some might suspect that McLaughlin wasn’t actually serious about the suggestion,* but the joke is not taken, and when you spend 200 $ on making it in the first place, and entry in an Encyclopedia of Loons might be warranted regardless of how you intended it.

*There is, of course, also the possibility that the measure was intended as a critique of the initiative process; hence the question mark above.

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