Sunday, March 22, 2015

That "Kill The Gays" Initiative

Some of you may have heard of an initiative submitted by a Southern California lawyer that would provide the death penalty for homosexual acts and, I presume, simply being homosexual. A lot of eyebrows have been raised with many people being rightfully offended. 

I'm not really offended as I know the initiative isn't going anywhere. There's all kinds of nutty initiatives that have been proposed before, and likely will be again. What's the big deal?

What does concern me is the sentiment I'm reading, such as in this Sacramento Bee article, that suggests such unpopular opinion shouldn't even be allowed to be submitted as a ballot initiative in the first place. A law professor, of all things, is quoted in the article for his reasons to nullify such unpopular thought before it's given a hearing:

“I could see a reason for wanting to kill it right now. ... I don’t want to go to a BART station and have some idiot with a clipboard put this in front of me and say, ‘Hey, do you want to sign this to put it on the ballot?’ But that may be something we have to just deal with.”

Ok, he does admit that it may be something he'll have to deal with. Still, he doesn't want to be inconvenienced or offended by someone approaching him with something he adamantly disagrees with. Sorry, I can't feel his pain and find it appalling that a law professor uses being annoyed as an example for squashing an initiative.

And if we come up with certain qualifications for ballot initiatives, what will be the next unpopular opinion to get thrown out before it gets a public hearing? Scott Shackford over at Reason magazine seems to agree with me. Referring to the California Secretary of State who clears initiative proposals, he wrote:

"The issue is who should make the call that a ballot initiative is illegal. As an elected official embroiled in state politics, letting the attorney general make that choice could create serious problems in less clear-cut situations. As it stands, Harris has been criticized (and sued) for writing slanted summaries of ballot initiatives that affected the possibility of their passage. It may have to be up to a judge to make the call, if needed."

There are good and bad proposals for ballot initiatives. Making it harder for any initiative to get approval means it's that much harder to put good initiatives on the ballot. That's akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. Again, what's the big deal? It's not going to make the ballot, anyway. 
I do wonder what this guy's real intent is. I did read some reference to a proposition he submitted earlier that was religious in nature- making some version of the bible part of state school curriculum or some such. Or, maybe he just figures even bad publicity is better than no publicity at all?

I'm sure this fellow on the east coast doesn't feel that way. A lawyer with the same name, you know he's probably hatin' it with some of the phone calls he's getting over this.

Read more here:


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 'initiative', section (b), the 'killing' part:

b) . . . in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

Just plain bad political theater.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Julie Timmons said...

As I understand it, the sponsor is a member of the California bar. What does that say about our legal education and system?

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

So you're saying people shouldn't be lawyers if their views are contrary to yours? Might I suggest his actions in the legal field, and whether people are willing to pay for him to represent them should be how he is judged in that regard.

That Bee article does mention someone moving to get him disbarred. I'd be curious to know the reasoning she'll use? Because he's not nice?

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Localgal said...

There are just so many guys "on the lowdown" and this lawyer is likely one. They are just scared to death of coming out and project it with this kind of stuff.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is suggesting KILLING people. Please tell me you aren't that dense.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts, exactly. Poor guy

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"They are just scared to death of coming out and project it with this kind of stuff."

I was wondering about that myself. As has been said those who bash the queers the most are often queer themselves. I believe that's true.

"He is suggesting KILLING people."

Didn't the people in the state just reaffirm support for the death penalty last election, albeit by a small margin? That's not much different, as I see it. Californians aren't all that averse to killing. They just don't want their own hands dirtied by it.

Aside from the fact I don't agree with his initiative.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much different? Kissing and MURDER are the same to you? Both offenses worthy of the death penalty?

At 12:57 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

Every Nit Wit is entitled to express their own opinion.

I'm entitled to be disgusted with that expression.

While not all speech is protected (Like yelling "theater" in a crowded fire house), having to tolerate the occasional intellectual maggot is part of the freedom we all share (especially in the blogosphere).

Freedom is dangerous (or at least inconvenient) stuff; that's why real Freedom in the rest of the world is so rare.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"Both offenses worthy of the death penalty?"

I'm not sure either is worthy of the death penalty. And, again, I don't agree with his initiative.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's some strong convictions there, partner! Sarcasm... You aren't sure if kissing is worthy of the death penalty? Are you sure of anything, or is being politically correct all that matters?

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

You're the one trying to be politically correct.

I should have written, "I'm not sure the murder is worthy of the death penalty."


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