I know I’m late boarding the radical lawyer train, but I’ve had a busy week performing a civic duty. I still believe there are points to be made about the issue of California attorney, Matthew Gregory McLaughlin and his “Sodomite Suppression Act” (SSA). The act is directed at the practice of the humorously titled, “buggery.” The lawyer and his ballot initiative attempt have been the cynosure of PoliticusUSA and numerous other sites for a number of days now, and not in a good way.
Be comforted in knowing that McLaughlin’s little homophobic initiative has no chance of seeing the light of day. SSA calls for convicted offenders to face imprisonment for up to 10 years and fines of up to a million dollars per occurrence. Most objective observers who follow such state and national political nonsense already know what such a headline-grabber is intended to do. It directs an inordinate amount of attention and controversy to an issue already handled. This will draw attention away from the truly dastardly deeds of certain elected officials that are genuine threats to the citizenry. Democratic programs and legislation are virtually ignored during this process.
In plunking $200 down for the privilege of being considered someone you wouldn’t want to spend a nanosecond with, attorney Matt claims that failing to heed a command from ‘Almighty God’ that we suppress buggery, will visit a Sodom sequel upon California’s inhabitants. The order must have come down something like this:
Matt: (picking up ringing phone) Hello, Matt the Mouthpiece.
God: Yeah. Matt, this is Almighty God.
Matt: Wow! How did you get my home number?
God: I need a favor.
Matt: Anything, Lord.
God: You remember what I did to Sodom, right, taking everybody out, including minors?
Matt: Hey, I’m a Genesis junkie, Lord.
God: Well, if you don’t want a Left Coast sulfur bath, you’ll slap together some kind of act targeting gays and sodomy.
Matt: Sure Lord.
God: I mean, you know how much buggery bugs me.
Matt: Gotcha God. It’s done.
God: Many thanks. “God Bless.”
Matt: “Matthew Bless!”
God Ha, ha, ha, ha. That’s a good one.
Matt: (as they both hang up) Ha, ha, ha, ha.
McLaughlin also inserts the legalese of not giving ‘sodomistic’ propaganda directly or indirectly to a person under the age of majority. The Supreme Court in Miller v. California judicially addressed that question some 42 years ago. Virtually every state in the union has very stringent obscenity laws including California’s Penal Code 311. Violations of most of its sections constitute a felony.
SSA ups the ante by forbidding sodomites, same-sex sodomites, that is, from public employment, holding public office or receiving public benefits.
But the piece de resistance reads, “…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.” That definition would include lesbians as well. The mature reaction, shared by many sites, is anybody endorsing and encouraging murder should, at the very least, be disbarred. I’d take it two steps further. McLaughlin should be arrested and charged with terrorist threats and if there are murders that can be traced to the initiative, whether or not it’s on the ballot, he is charged as an accessory to each and every one. That’s the very serious underpinning of what is otherwise hateful tomfoolery.
I can’t imagine hate running so deep as to sacrifice your reputation within your profession and be rendered socially and intellectually irrelevant by those residing in the community of reason.
I’ve read that many observers think the guy is insane. I can’t offend those with legitimate mental challenges by including him in their number. No, he’s not crazy: he’s just an odious, religious zealot. I’m stunned Fox hasn’t gobbled him up already. Maybe team him with certified perv, Bill O’Reilly. I’m sure Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A would jump at the chance to sponsor an hour or two of the pair’s All-American discriminatory babble against gays. Phil, the old homophobic gent from Duck Dynasty who thinks AIDS is God’s punishment, would make the ideal host.
If this initiative does find its way onto the 2016 California ballot and somehow passes, McLaughlin and his posse could kill every gay in sight and still have a line of heterosexual “Sodomites” stretching from LA to Frisco. Buggery between a man and a woman is little more than a shoulder shrug in McLaughlin’s Act even though, when you Google “adult heterosexual sodomy porn sites”, in a mere 0.64 seconds, you get 321,000,000 hits. Replace heterosexual with homosexual and in 0.46 seconds you get 3,330,000 hits. That’s quite a difference. Add the fact that the U.S. Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 40% of heterosexual Americans aged 15 to 44 have or have had anal sex with a member of the opposite sex.
McLaughlin unsuccessfully tried something similar a few years ago. This decade-old attempt would have allowed public school teachers to use the bible as a textbook.
Lots of folks are looking for information on this obscure attorney from Huntington Beach. There’s not much to be found. He attended UC Irvine as an undergrad and went on to earn his JD from George Mason Law School. U.S. News ranks them both at number 42 in the country. Not bad. He passed the California State Bar in ’98. Took some time off in 2012 and 2013 and reactivated his practice the first day of 2014.
Like most conscientious writer/reporters, I tried to reach McLaughlin at his listed number, and like most of my colleagues, got a bland “leave your number and I’ll call you back” message. I left a number.
Can I be honest here? This fool doesn’t interest me in the least. There’s a percentage of our population that runs as an unknown for president, just for the attention. There’s a percentage that thinks all citizens are bigoted hicks like that duck guy, then there are those who are just too slick. That must be McLaughlin.
There is a scenario, however remote, which would completely flip my opinion of this attorney. Could he be so brilliant as to offer this extremist issue to show just how incredibly hateful and ignorant a sector of our population has become? Does he want the Tea Party types coming out in full support of SSA as proof positive that our values and reason have abandoned the right-wing altogether?
This could get really ugly. The LA Times reports that a Los Angeles LGBT Center is going to see to it that all who sign on to get the initiative on the ballot can expect their names to be made public.
Officer, do your duty before this guy makes real trouble!