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California attorney general moves to dismiss ‘shoot the gays’ ballot proposal

California attorney general moves to dismiss ‘shoot the gays’ ballot proposal
Attorney General Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
Attorney General Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s attorney general is asking a judge to toss out a proposed ballot initiative that advocates killing anyone who engages in gay sex.

Attorney General Kamala Harris on Tuesday asked Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond Cabei to enter a default judgment against Matthew McLaughlin, the Orange County lawyer who paid $200 to submit the initiative.

McLaughlin has not attempted to defend his so-called Sodomite Suppression Act in court.

McLaughlin, an Orange County, Calif., attorney filed the proposed measure in February.

His initiative seeks to amend the California penal code to make gay or lesbian sex a capital offense punishable by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method” and the distribution of gay “propaganda” a crime punishable by a $1 million fine or banishment from the state.

Under California’s initiative process, once a sponsor has paid the required $200 filing fee, the attorney general’s office issues official titles and ballot summaries for proposed initiatives before sponsors can circulate signature petitions to qualify their measures to go before voters.

State officials do not have authority to refuse to process initiatives they find objectionable.

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A Sacramento County judge previously gave Harris until June 25 to prepare an official title and ballot summary for the initiative.

Harris wants Cabei to relieve her of that duty.

She argues that the initiative is clearly unconstitutional and would unnecessarily divide the public.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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