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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Death to the Sodomite Suppression Act

Robin Fritz disagrees with Matt McLaughlin’s Sodomite Proposal Act.

Robin Fritz | Staff Writer | [email protected]

In the March 19 Sacramento Bee article, “California Proposal to Legalize Killing Gays Hard to Stop,” Christopher Cadelago writes that attorney Matt McLaughlin’s ballot proposal — the Sodomite Suppression Act — is protected under the First Amendment at this point, according to legal experts, and should not be rejected by Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Perhaps I have too much faith in my fellow Californians, but I have no real fears that this measure, which would legalize the murder of gay and lesbian people by “bullets to the head or any other convenient method,” would ever gather enough signatures to make it onto the ballot, let alone get voted into law.

It isn’t that I think homophobia is dead in this state. Proposition 8, which overturned a state Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage and restricted marriage to one man and one woman, is a good example. It passed just seven years ago with a popular vote of more than 52 percent. It took five years and a federal ruling to strike down Proposition 8.

California may have an overall reputation as a very liberal, progressive and open-minded state, but the majority of voters still did not want lesbian, gay and bisexual people — like me — to have equal rights in marriage.

At the time Proposition 8 passed, I was not interested in marriage. I had a girlfriend, but I viewed marriage as a mere legal validation of a personal relationship.

An intrusion, even. An unnecessary piece of paper that could actually end up destroying a romantic relationship by attempting to contractualize it.

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It saddened me to see groups of people on the streets with signs supporting Proposition 8. I remember leaving my job at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights and being unable to get through traffic because the proponents of the bill were clogging the crosswalks, waving their large, yellow-and-blue “Yes on Prop. 8” signs. So many of my neighbors felt so strongly that my partner and I should not be allowed the legal benefits and obligations of marriage that those citizens took significant time out of their lives to make signs and block traffic with their marching and shouting.

In the summer of 2013, when the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States made same-sex marriage legal in California once again, I was in a different relationship. A better one. We celebrated exuberantly with crowds of friends, acquaintances and strangers on that warm June day, and the beautiful weather seemed to celebrate with us.

But still, underlying the joy of that day was the shadow of more than 7 million of our fellow Californians having voted to deny us equal rights in marriage.

So yes, California has its share — maybe even more than its share — of anti-gay sentiment. And I don’t think of myself as an overly trusting or optimistic person.

However, when I imagine a signature-gatherer asking people to sign a petition to put McLaughlin’s proposal on the ballot, I imagine that most people who actually read what they’re being asked to sign — or even ask for a summary of what the proposal is about — would be shocked and disgusted. Or at the very least would find it laughable.

I hope I’m not wrong.

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