SACRAMENTO (CN) - If the prospect of being asked to sign a petition to legalize shooting gay people mars your grocery-shopping experience, an L.A. activist has proposed a dueling initiative titled "Intolerant Jackass Act" to cheer sane Californians.
Incensed by Orange County attorney Matt McLaughlin's effort to get his "Sodomite Suppression Act" before Golden State voters in 2016, Charlotte Laws - author, politician, TV commentator and activist - paid the $200 fee to have California Attorney General Kamala Harris prepare and circulate a petition that would give Californians a peace-filled weapon to fight the intolerant jackasses in our midst.
Where McLaughlin's ballot initiative would tackle what he calls "the abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy" with state-sponsored "bullets to the head or any other convenient method," Laws' plan for dealing with "the abominable crime known as prejudice against sexual orientation, called also 'gay bashing'" involves punishing bigots like McLaughlin with sensitivity training and forced donations to LGBT groups.
"Any person, herein known as an 'Intolerant Jackass,' who brings forth a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays and/or lesbians, whether this measure is called the Sodomite Suppression Act or is known by some other name, shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three hours per month for 12 months," Laws' proposed initiative states. "In addition, the offender or 'Intolerant Jackass' must donate $5,000 to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization."
And taking a page from McLaughlin's unofficial guide to writing iron-clad ballot initiatives, Laws also proposes that no state or federal court can eviscerate the Intolerant Jackass Act until heard by a quorum of the California Supreme Court "who are not themselves 'Intolerant Jackasses.'"
Like McLaughlin, Laws must also get 365,000 signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot - although she told the San Francisco Chronicle that she doesn't actually intend to circulate the petition.
"It's just a way to speak back to this intolerant individual lawyer in Orange County," Laws said last week. "I felt that ridiculing him was the best way to take away his power."
McLaughlin is no stranger to ridicule these days, since his effort to suppress sodomites has garnered worldwide attention of the kind California really doesn't need, what with only a year of drinking water left and summer-like temperatures in March that can only be harbingers of fire-season doom.
And McLaughlin could face still more ridicule in the coming days, this time in a courtroom: Harris sued him last week to duck having to prepare and circulate his odious petition, saying it is "patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible and has no place in a civil society."
Meanwhile, a change.org petition to disbar McLaughlin has collected nearly 105,000 signatures as of Tuesday.
And the Legislative LGBT Caucus - comprised of the seven openly gay lawmakers in the Legislature - has also filed a formal complaint with the State Bar of California, citing concerns that McLaughlin may not fit the good moral character requirement for all practicing attorneys.
Subscribe to Closing Arguments
Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.