California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Thursday received an extension of next week's deadline to process a proposed ballot initiative that advocates killing anyone who engages in gay sex.
Harris asked a state court in late March for permission to reject the measure, calling it obviously unconstitutional and "utterly reprehensible." But since a judge has not yet acted on the unusual request, she said in legal papers filed Wednesday that she would be legally bound to clear the initiative's author on Monday to start pursuing the 366,000 signatures needed to put the law before voters in November 2016.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Steven Rodda agreed on Thursday to give the attorney general until June 25 to prepare an official title and ballot summary for the initiative, which would 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."
The attorney general plans to move to have her original request to quash the measure granted by default. Her office said in its appeal for more time that the Orange County lawyer who paid $200 to submit the initiative, Matthew McLaughlin, has not attempted to defend his so-called Sodomite Suppression Act in court.
The filing included a copy of a letter, signed by a Matt McLaughlin and mailed from the same Huntington Beach address used for the initiative, saying that McLaughlin did not intend to respond to the case.