Kamala Harris is smart.
Instead of allowing California's bat-shit crazy kill-the-gays initiative to pass through her hands pretty much unscathed, as she is obligated to do, she's going to ask a court "for declaratory relief" by "seeking judicial authorization to not issue a title and summary for the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act," the state's top cop said in a statement today.
Some pretty liberal initiatives, including attempts at full-on marijuana legalization, have passed through the state Attorney General's office without prejudice.
Harris' job is to ensure that the title and summary are kosher so initiative organizers can begin to gather necessary signatures from voters. Her opinion on the content of initiatives is not applicable.
This part of her gig, often, is to hold one's nose and ink up that rubber stamp.
But Harris is running for U.S. Senate. Politically speaking, she can't just let the "Sodomite Suppression Act," sure to fail to make the ballot anyway, stand unchallenged.
So today she punted this hot potato—a proposal by Orange County attorney Matt McLaughlin that would punish those who engage in homosexuality with "death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method"—to the Sacramento Superior Court.
A spokeswoman for Harris told us the declaratory relief request was filed this afternoon. Here's what Harris had to say, in part:
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As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society.
Meanwhile, there's a Change.org petition online that seeks support for a demand that the State Bar of California kick McLaughlin to the curb. It says, in part, that the lawyer is "calling for the legalized murder of the LGBT community," which "makes Mr. McLaughlin unfit to practice law."
After learning that a circa-1943 $200 filing fee was all it took to get the "Sodomite Suppression Act" initially proposed, a pair of state lawmakers, including Santa Monica-based Assemblyman Richard Bloom, introduced a bill that "would increase the fee from $200 to $8,000," according to a statement.