Capitol Alert

Measure filed to counter gay murder proposal

California Attorney General Kamala Harris takes the oath of office for her second term from California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye as her husband, Douglas Emhoff, looks on at the Crocker Art Museum Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Sacramento.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris takes the oath of office for her second term from California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye as her husband, Douglas Emhoff, looks on at the Crocker Art Museum Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Sacramento. AP

California voters could face not only an incendiary ballot measure that would legalize murder of gays and lesbians next year, but another requiring anyone proposing such a homicidal law to undergo “sensitivity training.”

It probably won’t happen, but the remote prospect of dueling ballot measures arose Wednesday when Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is trying to negate the former, approved the latter for signature-gathering.

It began when Huntington Beach attorney Matt McLaughlin filed a “Sodomite Suppression Act” measure to legalize murder of gays and lesbians with Harris’ office for a title and summary.

Harris, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, balked and asked the courts to allow her to block the measure’s circulation. “I, frankly, do not want to be in the position of giving legitimacy to those words,” she said, labeling the McLaughlin measure as unconstitutional.

Whether Harris can block a measure she considers noxious remains uncertain. But Charlotte Laws, an author and talk show host in Southern California, isn’t waiting for the courts to act.

She submitted what she called a “Intolerant Jackass Act” that would require anyone such as McLaughlin “who proposes a ballot measure that advocates the killing of gays and/or lesbians must attend sensitivity training and donate money to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization,” says the summary prepared by Harris’ office and released Wednesday.

McLaughlin’s measure has also sparked legislation that would raise the cost of filing a ballot measure from $200 to $8,000 and allowing the attorney general to declare in a ballot measure summary that it is an unconstitutional violation of personal rights.

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