News (USA)

Calif. activist fights ‘shoot the gays’ ballot proposal with ‘intolerant jackass’ initiative

Charlotte Laws
Charlotte Laws

A California activist says she is “fighting fire with fire” by proposing an “intolerant jackass” ballot initiative in response to another ballot proposal that calls for gays to be punished by “bullets to the head.”

Charlotte Laws says she is submitting her proposal for the “Intolerant Jackass Act,” which would require anyone proposing a ballot measure involving killing gay people to be punished with a year of sensitivity training and a significant donation to an LGBT rights group.

Laws’ proposal target’s the proposed “Sodomite Suppression Act,” submitted by Orange County attorney Matthew McLaughlin.

That ballot proposal asks voters to criminalize homosexuality and calls for gays to “be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

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Laws, who like McLaughlin only had to pay a $200 fee to file the initiative, tells Slate the measure is a way to show that most Californians “don’t agree with something as incendiary and hateful as what this one attorney proposed.”

Her new campaign is much more lighthearted — and, of course, a bit quixotic. (Though delightful, the Intolerant Jackass Act would run headlong into the First Amendment.) Still, it’s nice to see a response to McLaughlin’s measure that mocks its gonzo sadism without giving it the courtesy of a serious response. The Sodomite Suppression Act is a ridiculous proposal. With the Intolerant Jackass Act, Laws is only giving it the ridicule it deserves.

Legal observers say McLaughlin’s “shoot gays” initiative is unlikely to ever become law — for one thing, it’s unconstitutional — but Attorney General Kamala Harris may have no alternative but clear it for circulation.

Text of Laws’ “Intolerant Jackass Act” is here

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