Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain.

No, it's not noteworthy because it could conceivably get on the ballot in California.  Under the law there, it seems that just about any damn fool thing can get on the ballot in California.*

And it's not noteworthy because it's so over-the-top fundamentally offenseve. (Your mileage may vary, of course) 

It's not noteworthy because, if it somehow got on the ballot and received a majority of the votes it might become law despite the fact that it's clearly unconstitutional.  Lots of laws are clearly unconstitutional.  Some of them get enforced for decades.  

Nor is it noteworthy because it's a lawyer, one Matt McLaughlinwho's proposed it and is pushing it. 

What's noteworthy about the proposed Sodomite Suppression Act is that it's been taken seriously.

The gang from the Westboro Baptist Church cheers the deaths of American service men as god's proper vengeance for our national tolerance of homosexuality.  (You might ask around in the LGBT community about just how much national tolerance there is, but the accuracy of their perception is really beside the point.)  They crave attention.  They demonstrate at funerals to get media coverage, and it works.

McGloughlin wants more than attention.  He wants mandatory execution for "any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification." And if the government doesn't start the killing in a year, his legislation would authorize lynching.  And if he can get the necessary signatures (quite a large number, but there are a lot of whack-ass folk out there, so who's to say), he'll have his spot on the ballot.

Of course, there's another possibility, this being California and all.  McGloughlin, who seems to have almost no presence as an attorney, may be engaging in a form of performance art.  

Jonathan Swift generated some outrage when he suggested that a solution to overpopulation and hunger in Ireland was to eat the babies of the Irish poor.  Thing is, he didn't mean it.  It was satire.


No, he's no Swift.  And he's probably serious.  Which doesn't mean that he can't be treated as a joke.

As I write this, nearly 15,000 people have signed a petition on calling for him to be disbarred.  I'm not signing.  Why dignify any of it with the attention?

(And yes, I get the irony.)

*I'm taking the media's word for this, which is dangerous, but for a variety of reasons I think it's probably right in this case.

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