Sacramento County superior court judge Raymond Cadei has dismissed a proposed ballot initiative that advocated for killing anyone who participated in gay sex.
The initiative, which was referred to as the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” sought to amend the California Penal Code to make sex with a person of the same gender an offense punishable by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method,” reports USA Today.
In a ruling filed on Monday and released on Tuesday, the California judge called the initiative “patently unconstitutional.”
Cadei said it would be “inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public, and tend to mislead the electorate” for Attorney General Kamala Harris to process the proposal.
Harris, who is running for the US Senate, applauded the decision to eradicate the “Kill the Gays” ballot.
She said, “This proposed act is the product of bigotry, seeks to promote violence, is patently unconstitutional and has no place in a civil society.”
Orange County lawyer Matthew McLaughlin, the legal sponsor of the initiative, has not commented publicly on his motivation. Harris claimed that had Judge Cadei not blocked the proposal, she would have been forced to allow McLaughlin to seek the nearly 366,000 votes needed to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot.
The unprecedented decision has caused many experts to question whether Harris’ decision to intervene was lawful. However, her action was warranted by the violent nature of the proposal.
Professor Jessica Levinson of Loyola Law School shared her surprise, the Guardian reports.
Levinson said, “What we have here is a judge who is laying out a ruling saying that there is no world in which this is valid, so we are not going to waste our time. So it’s a very strong statement from both the attorney general and the judge.”