California lawyer proposes referendum to execute gays

California lawyer proposes referendum to execute gays
A gay couple holding hands after they were married in San Francisco.

LOS ANGELES - A California lawyer has submitted a referendum proposal to outlaw homosexuality in the famously liberal western US state, on pain of execution.

The proposal - unlikely to advance, as it requires over 360,000 signatures to proceed - was submitted by attorney Matthew McLaughlin to the California Attorney General's office last week.

"The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha," reads the proposal, registered for comment on the attorney general's website.

"Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us... the people of California wisely command, 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," he wrote.

McLaughlin, who submitted the "Sodomite Suppression Act" ballot initiative proposal with the required $200 fee, was not immediately for available for comment.

Gay activists slammed the ballot initiative.

"This proposed ballot initiative is outrageous and offensive, and it's grossly out of step with the attitudes and beliefs of the people of California," said Rick Zbur, head of Equality California.

The proposal was "not only insulting to people of faith, many of whom openly welcome and support the LGBT community, but it also highlights the need for LGBT people in the state to be protected against hate and bigotry," he added.

The lawyer's address registered with the proposal is in Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles in Orange County, known as a Republican stronghold in otherwise overwhelmingly Democratic and socially liberal California.

California, like other US states, regularly holds elections on ballot initiatives -- effectively referendums on proposed issues which must gather a minimum number of signatures to get on the ballot.

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