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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Proposed California Ballot Initiative Would Punish Homosexuality With Death, Vigilantism, Banishment

Shifting gears from my last post on Iowa's bill to prohibit sexual orientation conversion therapy for minors, I recently learned about this outrageous ballot initiative that was recently proposed in California. The Huffington Post reports on the initiative here.

The lawyer filing the initiative seeks to add section 39 to the California Penal Code which would punish the willful touching of another person of the same gender with death "by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."

The proposal goes on to suggest outlawing "sodomistic propaganda," defined as "anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman." This proposed felony would be punishable by a possible $10 million fine, 10 years imprisonment, and possibly banishment from the state of California for "up to life."

The law then goes on to state that only a "quorum" of the Supreme Court of California can overturn the law. Of course, only justices who are not "sodomites" would be permitted to rule on the law's validity.

But wait, there's more.

After a year, people would be permitted to privately enforce the law and be free from civil or criminal immunity arising from these enforcement efforts. And the text of the law would be required to be posted in all classrooms.

Direct democracy can be an interesting tool to promote creative lawmaking. But this process risks proposals that call for for rampant death penalties, widespread oppression of speech, vigilantism, banishment, and the cluttering of classroom walls. Incredibly, this one initiative would do all of those things. It will be interesting to see if the initiative gets the 350,000 signatures required for it to end up on the ballot.

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