A group of California legislators has filed a complaint against a lawyer who is proposing a statewide ballot initiative that would allow gays and lesbians to be "put to death by bullets to the head."
Matthew Gregory McLaughlin, an Orange County attorney, filed the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act on Feb. 24 with the state's Office of the Attorney General. McLaughlin's proposed law would also ban gays — whom he refers to as "sodomites" — from holding public office.
Under his proposed law, people found guilty of spreading "sodomite propaganda" would be fined $1 million or see jail time.
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But the state Legislature’s LGBT Caucus is asking the State Bar to review McLaughlin, who is listed as active and permitted to practice in California. They believe he's violating the State Bar's requirement that attorneys act in "good moral character."
"We are shocked and outraged that a member of the State Bar would so callously call for the disenfranchisement, expulsion and murder of members of the LGBT community," the caucus wrote in its complaint dated March 10 and obtained by NBC News.
"We believe that this measure not only fails constitutional muster, but that such inciting and hateful language has no place in our discourse, let alone state constitution," it said.
Anyone can file a prospective state ballot measure at a $200 fee, and the public has 30 days to respond before the attorney general publishes a summary of the measure, according to state rules.
McLaughlin, who could not immediately be reached for comment Friday, faces an uphill task to actually see his proposal on a statewide ballot. The initiative must gather the number of signatures equal to 5 percent of those who voted in the last election for governor — or about 366,000 valid names.
— Erik Ortiz